It is common for arthritis to affect the back. In general, the symptoms of back arthritis include joint inflammation, pain and tightness. Back arthritis in its early stage can have symptoms that include pain and stiffness in the lower and upper back. A person with back arthritis can also feel their arms and/or legs becoming weak or numb.
A 2004 survey conducted by the North American Spine Society found that about one in every six adults in the United States suffers from back pain and that these people are dealing with the pain for an average of two weeks every month. Unfortunately, these people oftentimes do not seek medical help to relieve or treat their condition.
Many people are wondering if they can avoid back arthritis. Unfortunately, it is a condition that is strongly influenced by genetics. About eighty percent of the senior population will experience some type of back arthritis from minor to severe cases. While the chances of preventing back arthritis are slim, there are ways to become adequately prepared to cope with it such as being physically fit and maintaining overall body conditioning.
There are several options to treat back arthritis and your doctor will discuss them with you. Some of the treatments available for back arthritis include physical therapy, physical conditioning, non-steroidal medications, and weight loss. These treatments are often combined for the best results.
In addition to this, there are many new diagnostic methods and treatment such as new medications that are being developed all the time. There are also ongoing studies that in the future will enable experts to identify whether a person will get back arthritis.
However, until then do not take over-the-counter back arthritis medications or try any self-treatment without first consulting your doctor. Doing simple exercises such as stretching your lower back can help relieve back arthritis pain. To do a lower back stretch, lie on the floor with your hands to your sides. Stretch your legs straight before you and gradually lift your left leg up. As you keep the small back of your back flat on the floor and your pelvis tilted, slowly put your hands around your left knee then pull your knee towards your chest. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Release your hold on your knee and gently lower your leg. Do the same to your right leg.
If you or someone you know is suffering from intense and persistent pain from back arthritis, it is best to visit your physician to get the proper diagnosis of your condition as well as find out what is the best course of treatment for you.