Arthritis of the Back

Arthritis in the back occurs when one or more of the joints in the vertebrae become inflamed.  Osteoarthritis in the back is also known as degenerative arthritis and occurs as the cartilage in the joints and the discs between vertebrae breakdown or becoming irritated.  Over time the discs can lose water decreasing the height of the space between vertebrae and causing the facet joints to experience increased pressure.  The cartilage that covers the discs can degenerate and therefore develop arthritis.  The vertebral column surrounds the spinal cord and contains exits and entrances for nerves that run throughout the body, inflammation in any area of the spine can cause widespread pain.  The areas of the vertebral column that can all be affected by arthritis of the back includes the sacral (pelvic region), lumbar spine (lower back), and thoracic spine (mid/upper back).

 

Symptoms of Arthritis in the Back

  • Pain and/or stiffness in the back
  • Numbness or weakness in legs or feet
  • Grinding or popping
  • Muscle spasms in nearby muscles
  • Headaches

 

Causes of Arthritis in the Back

  • Degeneration of discs between vertebrae
  • Injury or trauma to a joint
  • Family history of back pain or cartilage-related genetic defects
  • Jobs or hobbies with frequent lifting or moving of objects
  • Smoking
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Genetic defects in cartilage

 

Prevention of Arthritis in the Back

  • Practice good posture during everyday activities
  • Move heavy objects with proper body mechanics
  • Avoid smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stretch regularly

 

Things to do at Home for Arthritis of the Back

  • Ice, heat, and massage
  • Do exercises prescribed by a physical therapist for stretching and strengthening weakened or strained muscles

 

Treatment of Arthritis in the Back

ASTR uses holistic, noninvasive and pain free approaches to relieving inflammation and pain without the use of medication.  Our doctors use patented ASTR tools to break down and clear the existing scar tissue and myofasical restriction in patients.  Specific special exercise programs are given to patients that are designed to reduce inflammation and strengthen the muscle to bring the patient back to a normal functioning and activity.