Osteoarthritis In The Back

Osteoarthritis Of The SpineAlthough this most common form of arthritis can attack any joint in your body,  osteoarthritis in the back can be particularly bothersome.  Believe me, I know first-hand.  I’m also lucky enough to have osteoarthritis in my right hip and left ankle.  Other commonly affected joints for many are the hands, neck and knees.  So basically, all the joints we use the most which is probably why it is often referred to as the “wear and tear” arthritis.

The severity of the symptoms will vary from person to person but for most will increase over time.  Although no specific cure exists, there are quite a few treatment options available that may, at least, provide osteoarthritis pain relief.  If you have an osteoarthritis diagnosis, it’s highly likely you’ve already been to see your doctor.  But if not, most experts recommend that you do seek medical advice if you’ve been experiencing joint pain or stiffness for more than a few weeks.

Osteoarthritis Information And Tips

What Is Osteoarthritis? A deterioration in the cartilage or discs (for the spine and neck) which normally cushions the joint or vertebrae.  Over time, it can even progress to a complete breakdown which causes a bone-on-bone situation.  Bone spurs can also develop around the joints and if that occurs in the back, it can put pressure on the spinal column nerves as well.

Common Osteoarthritis Symptoms:  Pain or soreness felt in the joint when in motion or when applying pressure;  stiffness in the joint particularly in the morning or after sitting still for a long period of time; weakness or numbness in the arms or legs if related to neck or spinal osteoarthritis; limited range of motion and flexibility.

Contributing Factors:  Being overweight; getting older; injuries (sports or accidents); repetitive overuse of the affected joint (work or other activities);  genetic bone or cartilage abnormalities.

Professional Treatment Options:  Physical or occupational therapy;  acupuncture, injections of cortisone or joint-lubricating serums, surgery to replace the affected joint or to realign bones; prescription medications.

At Home Osteoarthritis Care:  Lose weight, if needed; hot and cold therapy; over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory aids including tablets, gels, creams and ointments; resting for short-periods (no more than one day) if necessary; gentle exercise such as stretching, walking, swimming or even tai chi and yoga; canes, braces and other assistive equipment; vitamins and supplements such as C, Omega 3, glucosamine and chondroitin (but please always seek professional advice before beginning to take any vitamins or supplements).

Personally, I will be heading to the pool (especially since it’s already 100° out here in Scottsdale, AZ) to relieve my osteoarthritis pain.  Drop in a comment and let me know what you’re doing.

Image credit: alila / 123RF Stock Photo

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