Arthritis lumbar spine affects the lower part of the back and the pelvic girdle. Patients of this condition experience pain and swelling in these areas as well as loss of motion.
In arthritis lumbar spine, there is a reduction in the elasticity of the gel-like lumbar discs in between the lower back’s vertebrae, causing the discs to lose their cushioning ability.
When the lumbar discs becomes less elastic, it also starts to shrink in height. This affects the structure of the entire vertebrae and the connective ligaments, which may result to tissue tears in the discs and the development of bone spurs.
Spine degeneration is generally considered an effect of the normal process of aging although it is known what exactly causes arthritis lumbar spine. Sometimes, direct spinal trauma or a previous injury to the area can contribute to arthritis lumbar spine.
Inflammation is the most typical symptom of arthritis lumbar spine, as with all other types of arthritis. It is often accompanied with joint and tissue stiffness and pain, which usually becomes severe early in the morning or after rest or inactivity. With arthritis lumbar spine, the pain may be experienced in the pelvic region and often causes changes in posture and gait. Consequently, it can affect other joints that bear a person’s weight such as the ankle, hip and knee.
Proper diagnosis is important because a person can suffer from different forms of arthritis at one time. The doctor usually performs several tests to find out whether the patient is suffering from arthritis lumbar spine. In addition, the doctor will examine the spine; ask about previous injuries and the patient’s overall health including existing conditions like heart diseases or diabetes. The doctor may also order for X-rays to see actual spinal bone damage and obtain MRI or magnetic resonance imaging scans to confirm and pinpoint the location of degenerated soft tissues.
Several treatments of arthritis lumbar spine are available. Initially, the doctor will recommend a short bed rest period. It is best if the patient returns to normal moderate activities as soon as the patient can. The aim of treatments for arthritis lumbar spine is to control pain so the patient can go back to a normal and even active life as much possible.
The doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain. The use of strong pain relievers should be limited to instances of severe pain.
A supervised exercise program is usually part of the treatment of arthritis lumbar spine to help the patient build up strength in the muscles of the back and abdomen. Weight management or reduction is also beneficial in treating this condition. Physical therapy, massage and acupuncture are other methods of treatment. The above treatments are effective in most cases of arthritis lumbar spine and surgery is rarely recommended.