WebMD looks at spinal osteoarthritis, including the causes, symptoms, osteoarthritis on the back treatments of this painful back and neck condition. Responsive Channel Content 3 Column Template_091e9c5e813ec926_tmodules_css_535. Turmeric: Health Remedy in Your Spice Rack?
Why Are Women Still Dying From Childbirth? It is a condition in which the protective cartilage that cushions the tops of bones degenerates, or wears down. This causes swelling and pain. What Is Osteoarthritis of the Spine? Who Gets Osteoarthritis of the Spine? For people younger than age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among men. After age 45, osteoarthritis is more common among women.
It also occurs more frequently in those who have jobs or do sports that put repetitive stress on certain joints. What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Spine? Osteoarthritis of the spine may cause stiffness or pain in the neck or back. It may also cause weakness or numbness in the legs or arms if it is severe enough to affect spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself. Usually, the back discomfort is relieved when the person is lying down. Some people experience little interference with the activities of their lives. Others become more severely disabled.
In addition to the physical effects, a person with osteoarthritis might also experience social and emotional problems. For instance, a person with osteoarthritis that hinders daily activities and job performance might feel depressed or helpless. How Is Osteoarthritis of the Spine Diagnosed? The best way to confirm a diagnosis of osteoarthritis is by X-ray. The doctor may order certain tests to aid in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the spine. X-rays are not able to show early damage to cartilage. How Is Osteoarthritis of the Spine Treated?
In most cases, treatment of spinal osteoarthritis is geared toward relieving the symptoms of pain and increasing a person’s ability to function. The goal is to have a healthy lifestyle. These exercises seek to make muscles that support the joints stronger. They work through resistance with the use of weights or rubber bands. These are exercises that make the heart and circulatory system stronger. These exercises increase the body’s flexibility.
Including rest periods in the overall treatment plan is necessary. Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide_091e9c5e806d2071. Pain medications may also be used to treat osteoarthritis. NSAIDs may have serious side effects. Topical ointments and creams are also available to treat pain.
Examples of topical drugs include Ben-Gay and Aspercreme. It is important to understand that these injections do not correct the underlying problem and are sometimes used without clear indication of long-term benefit. Oral steroids are not commonly used. Most cases of spinal osteoarthritis can be treated without surgery, but surgery is sometimes performed.