Arthritis is a disease that often causes swelling and tenderness in your joints, pain, and difficulty moving. It can affect anyone, especially the elderly.
Spinal arthritis occurs when the joints between your vertebra are affected by arthritis. Severe cases typically cause severe pain and may cause other spine-related complications. Thankfully, there are several arthritis treatments available to relieve your symptoms.
What Is Spinal Arthritis?
Most types of arthritis affect the back or neck. Spinal arthritis causes back pain and often leads to chronic conditions. The types of spinal arthritis include:
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, can affect the lower back. Inflammation and pain occur when the cartilage between joints gradually breaks down. Symptoms are more evident when bending and twisting the back.
This type of spinal arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that could cause back pain. Pain can occur even when joints are not in use. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than men.
Spondyloarthritis affects the joints and areas where tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. Some severe forms of spondyloarthritis can cause the vertebrae to stick together and result in a hunch in the back.
Back Arthritis Treatment Methods
Arthritis treatment options depend on the type of arthritis you have. The first step will always be diagnostic tests. Your doctor will examine how well your joints can move and check the affected area for tenderness, swelling, and pain.
Your doctor may also have you undergo diagnostic tests to analyze different body fluids such as blood, urine, and joint fluid.
Imaging tests also help in detecting joint problems that could be the cause of your symptoms. These tests include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans
After these tests, your doctor can identify your arthritis.
It’s important to understand that arthritis does not yet have a cure. The goals of an arthritis treatment plan are pain management, slowing the progression of the disease, ensuring that you can function as well as possible, and preventing your symptoms from worsening.
Spinal arthritis treatments vary depending on several factors, such as age and pain level. Your doctor may suggest the following:
Your arthritis treatment plan may include pain medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain. If your symptoms do not respond to over-the-counter medications, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid pills or injections.
Your physical therapist will teach you exercises that can help improve flexibility, relieve pain, and strengthen muscles. It can also preserve joint structure and function. There are also mild exercises you can try, such as walking and swimming.
Improving your lifestyle and incorporating healthier habits can lessen the stress or inflammation of your spine. Consult your doctor regarding the optimal food for you. However, in general, a diet abundant in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains is recommended.
Exercising regularly also improves the muscles in your back. Stronger back muscles can help support your spine, taking some of the strain off.
You should also quit smoking and make ergonomic changes to your workstation, such as changing your posture or getting a more supportive chair.
Surgery decompresses the spinal cord and frees up the nerve roots. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that combines several segments of the spine and stabilizes it. Your doctor may suggest surgery if other treatments fail.
Arthritis Treatment In Melbourne, FL
Spinal arthritis can be debilitating. The sooner you can receive treatment, the better. Arthritis treatments won’t cure your arthritis, but they will ensure that you can still live a happy and fulfilling life free from arthritis pain.
At Central Florida Spine & Pain, we will craft the best treatment and pain management plan for you. Our friendly staff will ensure that you’ll have a comfortable and successful experience.