Osteoarthritis Of The Spine: Managing Your Pain Successfully

Posted on: 18 July 2017

If the osteoarthritis in your spine causes significant pain in your lower back, you may feel as though there's nothing you can do to alleviate your symptoms. Although you can't cure osteoarthritis, you can manage your symptoms by making a few changes in your life. Here's how osteoarthritis affects your spine and how you can improve your symptoms:

How and Why Does Arthritis of the Spine Develop?

Your spine is a complex system of vertebra bones, joints, and nerves that work together to move your body. Each vertebra contains four facet joints. Facet joints rely on cartilage to stabilize and protect them when you move. When arthritis develops in your spine, it's usually due to inflammation in the facet joints' cartilage.

Cartilage covers the ends of joints, or where multiple bones meet. Cartilage can deteriorate with age, trauma, or disease, which allows facet joints to slide against each other when you bend or move your spine. When bones rub together, they create friction and inflammation.

Inflamed, swollen joints can affect the nerves in your spine by pressing against them. Because nerves travel throughout your spine, it's possible for you to feel pain in any area of the back, including the lower back region.

Fighting osteoarthritis pain can be a lifelong battle. But with the right treatment options, you can keep it from taking over your life.

How Do You Manage Your Pain and Other Symptoms?

It's important that you see a chiropractor or another pain management specialist about your arthritis pain. A chiropractor can use different techniques, such as physical therapy and heat therapy, to alleviate the tension and pressure placed on your spine's joints and nerves.

The treatment plan designed for your needs may also include nutritional changes and exercises you can do at your convenience. A number of people feel better when they eat anti-inflammatory foods and spices, such as garlic and nuts. If you're concerned about your nutritional needs, tell a chiropractor immediately.

If your pain doesn't alleviate with the treatment options above, a chiropractor may try spinal manipulation on you. This treatment improves flexibility, movement, and coordination in your spine. Spinal manipulation isn't for everyone, so be sure to discuss it with a pain management specialist if you have questions about the treatment.

Some pain management specialists use medication and herbal treatments to reduce the inflammation or slow down the deterioration in joints. However, you should avoid taking any over-the-counter drugs or herbs without a chiropractor's direct consent. OTC treatments may contradict or interfere with your specialist's treatments, which may set back your progress.

To learn more about your symptoms and treatments, contact a chiropractor like Burgman Chiropractic Clinic PC for more information.