Spinal arthritis is a very painful kind of arthritis which can affect several parts of the body. This kind of arthritis usually happens to people who age 40 and above, although younger people could also get this condition given factors like injury or genetic defect of the cartilage. It is a condition wherein the protective cartilage that cushions the tops of bones wears down. This causes inflammation and pain. Spinal arthritis, if left untreated, may cause other problems such as muscle breakdown, weakness, depression, and anxiety. Spinal arthritis can even cause a very painful attack which leads a person to be bedridden and unable to do physical tasks.
Spinal arthritis can be caused when there is a certain imbalance in the hormones, muscles, or nutritional levels. One of the factors causing this sickness is the degeneration of the bones which comes along with the factors involving calcium built-up. In some cases, past accidents can be the cause for spinal arthritis.
The symptoms for spinal arthritis include pain and numbness in the back, head, shoulders, and neck. Some of these areas may be painful at certain times and feel alright at some time. Having spinal arthritis would lead to difficulty in bending and doing other physical activities at home or at work. The most common symptom for spinal arthritis is the numbness in the neck area, although pain and numbness in other areas mentioned above could also be experienced. In some cases, the arms and legs are affected and frequent and urgent urination may be felt.
In diagnosing this kind of condition, the doctor usually goes over the medical history of the patient. The patient will also undergo a physical examination wherein he / she will be asked to do some simple exercises to see the body’s range of motion and if this is affected. Aside from the physical examination, the doctor may run some tests such as X-ray and blood tests.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinal arthritis; however, patients can do physical therapy which includes exercises and stretches. Before performing any of these stretches, you must consult your doctor or therapist.
Here are some of the stretches that may help relieve pains from spinal arthritis:
- Pelvic Tilt – The pelvic tilt is done by lying on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Press the small of your back into the floor without using your legs and hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Prone Press Up – This could be done by lying on your stomach with your hands on the floor near your shoulders. Keep your hips on the floor and slowly push your upper body off the floor. You should keep your arms straight and hold for five seconds.
- Knee to Chest – This could be by lying on your back with your legs straight. Bring one knee toward your chest and while holding the back of your thigh, pull the knee toward your chest. This will stretch your buttocks muscles, which are important for improving posture. Hold the position for at least 15 seconds and return to the starting position.