Arthritis on the spine and back pain

ARTHRITIS ON THE SPINE AND BACK PAIN

Arthritis on the spine is the inflammation of the facet joints or sacroiliac joints between the spine and the pelvis. Sometimes, the inflammation may affect the sites where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones of the spine. Regardless of the exact location, arthritis in the back can be painful and often becomes chronic.

CAUSES OF SPINAL ARTHRITIS AND RISK FACTORS

The causes of arthritis in the back vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases, the exact cause remains unknown. Some forms of spinal arthritis are hereditary. Risk factors of spinal arthritis include:

  • Age.
  • Excessive weight.
  • Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease.

SELF-HELP MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING ARTHRITIS ON THE SPINE

Below are some of the self-help measures to reduce the risk of developing arthritis on the spine and improve function if you already have arthritis on the spine:

  • Keep your muscles strong and do exercises that increase muscle strength. This can help support the joints and reduce the pain of arthritis. 
  • Try to keep to a healthy weight.
  • Try to manage the pain. Distraction, meditation, reducing stress and trying to help your sleep can all help reduce pain.
  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines are often prescribed to help with the pain and stiffness of arthritis.
  • Joint injections of a corticosteroid and local anaesthetic can sometimes help to relieve pain on the joints.
  • Physical therapies such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatment can also help. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/