What is Arthritis Back Pain?
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints and it affects every single joint in the human body. Once diagnosed with arthritis, a person can only slow down the effect and reduce the symptoms. This situation can’t be cured.
Depending upon the body part affected, there are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatic, fibromyalgia, Enteropathic arthritis, Cervical spondylosis that affect various parts of the body.
One of the common arthritis is spinal arthritis that specifically affects the spine. One of the common symptoms is an intense back pain.
How to Help Back Pain Caused By Arthritis?
1. Physical Therapy
One of the major challenges faced by people suffering from arthritis pain is their deteriorating flexibility. Physical therapy includes stretching and flexing of muscles and joints. It will help in muscle movement and strengthening of muscles that can help to deal with the inflammation and swelling around the joints.
People who face intense back pain can also experience spinal stiffness. Physiotherapy will help to reduce these symptoms.
One of the popular misconceptions about arthritis is that, patients should eliminate intense movements and physical exercises. Studies have proven that avoiding physical activities will increase inflammation and make your joints stiff and rigid.
In fact, moderate exercise has proven to improve symptoms of arthritis and offer better movement.
It promotes muscle strength, which will reduce pain and also movement of the joints, which reduces stiffness and swelling. But it is important to consider your age, other medical conditions, and overall flexibility.
For example, the intensity of workout of a 50 year old man/woman and a 65 year old man/woman with arthritis can’t be the same. There are some specific back exercises for relief from pain
3. Weight Loss
All of our upper body strength is being managed by the lower spine joints. So weight plays a crucial role and it works both ways. Overweight can cause back pain and worsen the symptoms of arthritis. If a person has chronic back pain or arthritis and is overweight, symptoms would be severe.
This will seriously affect one’s quality of life. Following a healthy diet and working out moderately can reduce the weight and improve the pain.
Simple exercises such as walking, jogging and low-impact workouts will make a huge difference. Also, eating healthy and staying away from processed and oily food will be beneficial.
Not only will it help to lose weight but also reduce other symptoms associated with arthritis back pain such as gastrointestinal issues.
4. Eliminate Stress
Stress can cause all sort of mental and physical discomfort. Studies show that arthritis can also cause depression in people. Sometimes, it is the chronic and intense pain that might make people depressed.
Sometimes, it is associated with the joint inflammation and the hormonal imbalances associated with the medication. Whatever be the case, being stressful can only worsen the condition.
Keeping calm and practicing yoga or meditation can help to cope up with stress. Take time to relax at the end of the day and engage in activities that act as stress-busters.
5. Heat And Cold Therapy
Scientists have proven that applying heat or cold continuously or in frequent intervals can considerably reduce even chronic back pain and offer great relief.
Heat can be either moist or dry. Heating lamps, pads, and wearable heat packs are some of the dry heat sources. A warm bath and warm clothes that are soaked in warm water can be the moist sources.
Cold compressor filled with ice, cold therapy are also beneficial. However, it should be noted that ice should never be applied directly to the skin as it can cause sudden sensation in the nerves and joints around the area.
Also, keeping ice for too long can result in joint stiffness and may even increase the pain. A period of 20-25 minutes is considered as ideal and it can be done 2-3 times a day for best results.
6. Corsets And Braces
Corsets are elastic and tight undergarments that offers support to hips, abdomen and lower back. It can be adjusted according to a person’s frame and comfort. Braces are made of metal and is firm.
The function of both is the same; to offer support by reducing pressure on the spinal disc. This external support also regulate movement and avoid sudden pressure on the joints
7. Moderate rest
Rest is often misinterpreted amongst patients of arthritis back pain. It is true that patient should restrict high-intensity workouts and movements.
But that doesn’t mean one should be bedridden. While it is understandable that moving around is difficult when one is suffering from pain, full rest can only complicate the situation further.
Moderation is the key here. There should be at least 20-30 minutes of low to medium intensity exercises to facilitate muscle and joint movements. Rest can be taken in the form of uninterrupted, regular sleep, keeping support for back while working on desk, sitting etc.
Although studies haven’t proven the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain, there are many testimonials from people who tried this ancient method and improved their quality of life.
It is a process of inserting needles in certain points that would bust the pain. However, ensure to consult a certified acupuncturist who is compliant with all the safety measures prescribed.
Other than the above-mentioned methods, treatment through medication is the obvious and most common way.
There are many types of medication available such as NSAIDs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, pain-relievers etc. it is always advised to take any medicine under strict medical supervision.
Back pain and other symptoms of arthritis back pain can affect a person’s quality of life. However, by making appropriate lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, and home treatments, one can effectively combat arthritis back pain.
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