Arthritis in back is an extremely common source of back pain that affects older people. The joints in the spine become affected by the arthritis and cause pain in the back and sometimes numbness or pain in the legs. The lower area of the back is the most common place for arthritis to affect people. Arthritis of the back joints is often caused from the wear and tear you put on your spine through daily living. Over the years people use and often abuse their back, taking it for granted. All of this use adds up and can lead to arthritis in old age. The back has 26 bones, all lined up one on top of the other. When the bones change shape due to arthritis this causes added pressure, which leads to a painful situation. In addition, the pads between the spinal bones can wear and increase the pain.
If you think you may have arthritis in back, you may look to some common symptoms as the first indicator before going to see a doctor. Common symptoms include neck pain that extends to the shoulders and arms; back pain then extends down to the buttocks and legs, numbness, cramps and weakness in arm or legs. In certain cases, loss of bladder or bowel control can also be a symptom.
Arthritis is generally diagnosed through a thorough look at your medical history combined with a physical exam. A simple X-ray may also be used to diagnose the condition of the back and to confirm the presence and extent of the arthritis. An MRI may be necessary in certain cases to further assess the arthritis. In any case, if you feel that you have symptoms you should go to your doctor and discuss the possibility. There is no need to suffer through back pain when arthritis is easily diagnosed and treatment is readily available.
You can get relief for arthritis in back in a number of ways. One simple way to get relief is to rest your back. Combined with medication, this can make a big difference in your condition. Obviously, it can’t be cured, but relief is an attainable goal and in most cases the treatment is fairly simple and painless. Physical therapy can be a good way to relieve the pain. As you strengthen the muscles in your back they will better support your back and lead to less pressure on the affected areas of your back joints. Medications can be used successfully to both relieve pain as well as reduce swelling.
One important way to help relieve arthritis pain over the long term is often overlooked. That is through leading a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating that contributes to loss of weight combined with exercise. Living a healthy lifestyle can promote overall back health and relieve much of the pain in your back caused by arthritis. In severe cases, surgery may be a necessary option as determined by you and your doctor. Arthritis in back can be a painful condition, but with the right approach, you can get relief.