Back Arthritis & Spondylitis Treatment

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is basically when you have inflammation in your joints. Arthritis can occur in many parts and joints of your body, making it a very common condition to be diagnosed with. Now to make it a little more complicated, there are more than 100 types of arthritis. The most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

If you’ve been experiencing pain in your back it’s most likely you have osteoarthritis of the back and spine. Osteoarthritis is usually caused by the natural aging process when your joints become inflamed and your cartilage breaks down due to the wear and tear of everyday life. In addition, you might also get osteoarthritis from an injury such as a fall, or being an overweight or obese individual.

Treatment for Arthritis in Your Lower Back

Arthritis back treatment is usually accompanied by many conservative methods and treatment options to help lower your pain.

Treatment for spinal arthritis includes:

  • Rest
  • Visiting a chiropractor
  • Medication
  • Heat/ Cold Therapy
  • Bracing
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What is Spondylitis? (Also known As Ankylosing Spondylitis)

Spondylitis is another form of arthritis, which commonly occurs in your back. Ankylosing spondylitis basically is the inflammation of the joints in the spine, otherwise known as the sacroiliac joints (SI joints). These joints are located in the back of your spine and are in between each of your vertebrae.

This inflammation over time can eventually lead to your vertebrae fusing together, this is where you get the term ankylosis. Although it’s more common to be found in your spine, this disease can also affect other joints in your body such as your ribs, hips, shoulders, and knees.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment Guidelines

So how do I treat spondylitis? Currently, there is no cure to completely treat you from spondylitis. Luckily, there are many different conservative and natural methods you can try at home to help alleviate your symptoms.

Ankylosing spondylitis treatment options include:

    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Sleeping on a firm mattress
    • Hot and cold therapy
    • Quitting smoking
    • Keep moving around: It’s beneficial to keep moving around!
    • Physical therapy
    • Ankylosing spondylitis exercises
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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which is a result of the wearing down of the tissue located on the end of your bones. This condition typically occurs in your hands, back, knees, and hips.

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the spine is pain, tenderness, and stiffness in your joints. In addition, you may lose flexibility or motion in the region surrounding the affected joint.

Spinal Osteoarthritis Back Treatment

Treatment for osteoarthritis of the lumbar back cannot completely cure your condition. Since arthritis is a result of the natural aging process, there is no way to get rid of it all together. There are different conservative ways to help alleviate your pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Some treatment option for spinal osteoarthritis include:

    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Physical therapy
    • Exercises such as yoga or Pilates
    • Cortisone injections
    • Surgery
    • Acupuncture
How to treat spinal osteoarthritis with a back brace

What is Degeneration of the Spine?

Degeneration of the spine is typically caused by the degeneration of your spinal discs, also referred to as degenerative disc disease. DDD is when the discs located in between your spinal vertebra, weaken, when this happens, your discs lose water content and begin to flatten or become thinner. Your discs now no longer absorb the amount of shock that is placed on your spine due to walking, running, and jumping.

Symptoms of a degenerating spine include pain in your arms or legs, muscle spasms, a numb or tingling sensation, and difficulty walking or sitting. Some individuals may not endure any symptoms at all until later on in life, whereas others may experience symptoms right away.

Spine Degeneration Treatment

Treatment for spinal degeneration will depend on how severe your condition is. It’s important to speak with your doctor about all of the treatment options, both surgical and conservative.

Conservative treatment for degenerative spine disorder:

    • Physical therapy
    • Exercises and stretches
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Weight loss (use this calculator to determine if you’re considered obese)
    • Heat and ice therapy
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Surgical options for severe spine vertebrae degeneration:

  • Discectomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Artificial disc surgery

What is Facet Syndrome?

Facet syndrome, also called facet disease, is a common and debilitating condition in which you experience pain and tenderness in your spine. Facet joint pain occurs when your joints degenerate and become swollen, which leads to pain and discomfort. This condition can occur in any region of your spine but is more likely to be found in your lumbar or lower back region (L1 through L5 vertebrae). 

Facet joint pain symptoms typically include pain, tenderness, and muscle weakness more commonly at the start of the day. In addition, you may experience headaches or abnormal curvature of your spine. If you have lumbar facet syndrome, a symptom may be pain radiating down the back of your legs or buttock area. If you have cervical facet disease, the pain will be radiating down to your shoulder and arms.

Treatment for Facet Syndrome or Disease

There are numerous ways to help reduce the pain caused by facet syndrome. Some of the most common options include:

  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Cold and hot therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Exercises

If your pain subsides after these conservative methods, surgery for facet joint pain include:

    • Injections
    • Discectomy
    • Laminectomy
    • Foraminotomy
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What Is Facet Arthropathy?

Facet arthropathy is similar to facet syndrome in that it causes discomfort and pain to your spine in a similar manner. Facet arthropathy is a disease or an abnormality in your facet joints usually caused by degeneration or arthritis.

Symptoms of arthropathy include lower back pain, especially when twisting, sitting, or bending. It’s also common for those who have cervical facet arthropathy to experience pain or discomfort when moving your neck. The difference is that you usually don’t experience pain radiating down your legs or buttocks with lumbar facet arthropathy.

Facet Arthropathy Joint Treatment

To help treat your pain from arthropathy, try avoiding movements that may cause further injury or cause you discomfort.

Other treatments for spinal arthropathy include:

    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Physical therapy exercises.
    • Epidural steroid injection
    • Back surgery, known as spinal fusion
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