While there are currently no proven treatments to halt or even just slow down the progression of arthritis of the lower spine, one can have treatments that can at least lessen the pain and mitigate the other symptoms associated with the condition. Many people who suffer from arthritis of the lower spine are able to lead normal lives, without having to undergo specific treatment regimens. For those who will require treatment, they can choose from an array of approaches, depending on the severity of the condition. They can start from some simple lifestyle changes like losing weight, taking regular exercises to strengthen the lower back or to stop smoking. Most of the treatment regimens for arthritis of the lower spine are geared towards controlling the pain and in strengthening the muscles of the patient’s lower back area. Medication is often prescribed to reduce the inflammation, which in turn reduces the pain and stiffness in the joints. Surgery is done in only the most severe cases of arthritis of the lower spine.
There are different of kinds of arthritis of the lower spine. The condition is often referred to in medical circles as osteoarthritis in the spine, spinal arthritis, degenerative joint disease or arthritis of the facet joints. The most common one is arthritis of the lower spine as it is most likely to occur in people over the age of fifty. Arthritis of the lower spine is caused by an ongoing, degenerative process in the spine, and may be associated with a number of other degenerative spinal conditions, as well. In particular, arthritis of the lower spine is associated with the degeneration of the vertebral discs in the spine. It is believed that the degenerating discs can place undue stress on the facet joints, causing the degeneration of the discs and the formation of osteoarthritis in the facet joints (also called zygapophyseal joints). It must be noted, however, that degenerative disc disease and arthritis of the lower spine are different medical conditions and can occur separately. Thus, it is quite important that your particular condition be diagnosed properly so that the appropriate treatment regimen may be evolved.
Many treatments for arthritis of the lower spine are available to effectively relieve its symptoms, although we reiterate that there is no cure for this disease, as of now. The treatment goal is to slow the progression of the arthritis of the lower spine, to decrease the symptoms, to increase joint function, and to preserve mobility and range of motion. When you consult with your health practitioner, he will most probably assess the severity of your case while at the same time factoring in your age and overall health condition before designing a treatment plan that will be right for you.
While most symptoms of arthritis of the lower spine can be addressed using conservative methods like exercise, rest, massage, ice/heat applications or weight loss, your doctor may also recommend that you take certain medications for arthritis of the lower spine These can be can be either over-the-counter drugs or prescription strength, depending on the severity of your symptoms. The more advanced cases of arthritis of the lower spine may also require physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, or even spinal injections to alleviate the pain and to enable the patient to do a wider range of motions. In cases where the non-surgical treatments for arthritis of the lower spine fail to relieve the symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.