Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of arthritis in the back or neck 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. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.
Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:
Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease
What Can I Do
Learn about back pain and play an active role in your treatment. Not all information you read or hear about is trustworthy so always talk to your healthcare team about treatments you are thinking about trying. Reliable sources of further information are also listed in the section below. Self-management courses aim to help you develop skills to be actively involved in your healthcare. Contact your local Arthritis Office for details of these courses.
Stay active and healthy. Your back is designed for movement. Continuing with your normal activities or returning to them as soon as you can will help you recover from a bout of back pain. Some pain with activity is normal but does not mean it is causing harm. You may need to rest or reduce some activities when the pain is excessive. But resting for more than a day or two usually does not help and may do more harm than good. See a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for advice about exercises to keep your back moving. If you are carrying extra kilos, losing weight with the help of a dietitian may be of benefit, as may be strategies to reduce stress and anxiety.
Learn ways to manage pain. There are many things you can try, including
Acknowledge your feelings and seek support. It is natural to feel worried, frustrated, sad and sometimes angry when you have pain. Be aware of these feelings and get help if they start affecting your daily life.
Pain That Originates From The Side Of The Hip
Certain conditions may cause hip pain to originate from the side of the hip and travel down to the thigh. A few examples are discussed below.
External snapping hip
When a muscle or tendon slides over the bony protrusion at the top of the thigh bone , it creates a snap, pop, or clicking sound. This condition causes pain that increases with direct pressure over the side of the hip. The pain may also travel down the side of the thigh.1
Read more about 3 Types of Snapping Hip Syndrome on Sports-health.com
Inflammation of the large trochanteric bursa located on the side of the hip joint may cause hip pain. The pain typically increases upon direct pressure on the side of the hip and may travel down the side of the thigh.1,7
See Hip Bursitis
Both these conditions belong to a spectrum of hip disorders called the greater trochanteric pain syndrome. This syndrome also includes tears of the gluteus minimus and/or medius muscles located on the side and back of the hip that may cause pain in these areas.1
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Tips For Using A Cane
When using a cane, remember the following tips:
- Ensure the cane isnt too tall or short. You shouldnt slump or slouch over when using a cane. Its height should come to the top of your wrist.
- Use the cane on your strong side. If your affected hip is your right one, hold the cane with your left hand. When you step forward with your right leg, the cane will provide support. Practice moving your affected leg and the cane at the same time.
- Advance the cane an appropriate distance. Move the cane about 2 inches to the front or side of you. If its too far from your body, you might lose balance.
A physical therapist can help you develop a safe technique.
Your insurance company may cover the cost of these aids. Your healthcare provider can write a prescription for these mobility aids to help in the reimbursement process.
How Will I Know If I Have Lumbar Arthritis
If youre experiencing lumbar arthritis, you may have already been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. In most cases of psoriatic arthritis, a diagnosis of psoriasis will precede any arthritis symptoms that occur.
If youre experiencing stiffness, creaking, and lost range of motion in your lower back and have never been diagnosed by a doctor with arthritis, see your doctor. They will perform a physical exam to check for inflammation and swelling at the site of your pain.
If your doctor suspects that you have arthritis, you will probably need to have an X-ray. X-rays can show any issues with bone density, cartilage loss, and bone spurs that may be causing your pain.
X-rays can also be useful in tracking your arthritis and assessing whether your recommended treatment is preventing further damage to your joints.
Your doctor will also order a blood test to determine what kind of arthritis you have.
You may be referred to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in joint pain, for further testing.
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How To Soar To Self
3. Tendinitis and bursitis Many tendons around the hip connect the muscles to the joint. These tendons can easily become inflamed if you overuse them or participate in strenuous activities. One of the most common causes of tendinitis at the hip joint, especially in runners, is iliotibial band syndrome the iliotibial band is the thick span of tissue that runs from the outer rim of your pelvis to the outside of your knee.
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Another common cause of hip pain in women is bursitis, says , an orthopedic surgeon in Vail, Colorado. Fluid-filled sacs called bursae cushion the bony part of the hip that is close to the surface. Like the tendons, these sacs can become inflamed from irritation or overuse and cause pain whenever you move the hip joint.
4. Hernia In the groin area, femoral and inguinal hernias sometimes referred to as sports hernias can cause anterior hip pain in women. Pregnant women can be susceptible to inguinal hernias because of the added pressure on the wall of their abdomen.
5. Gynecological and back issues Hip pain in women can have gynecological causes, Siegrist says. Its important not to just assume that the pain is caused by arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis. Depending on your age and other health issues, the pain in your hip could be coming from some other system.
Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Back
If you have arthritis in your back, its important to understand the type of arthritis that might be causing it. Different types of arthritis have specific medications and treatments. Here are some of the more common types of arthritis that affect the back.
It is common for people with back pain to have more than one cause, which could include arthritis as well as other causes .
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Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
Age-related degeneration of the hip joint can cause pain in the lower back and stiffness in the hip.
Hip osteoarthritis causes stiffness and a significant decrease in the hips range of motion. This change can cause the hip to incline forward, disrupting the curvature of the lower spine. The inward curvature of the lower spine may become more pronounced, sometimes causing the lower spinal discs to bulge or herniate.12,13
This condition may over time cause degeneration of the spinal joints too, resulting in a more advanced problem called hip-spine syndrome.
Learn more about Hip Osteoarthritis on Arthritis-health.com
This list is not exhaustive of all possible causes of lower back and hip pain. If you experience pain and/or stiffness in your lower back and hip that does not resolve with self-care and affects your daily activities, talk to your doctor. A doctor can accurately diagnose the cause of your lower back problem and formulate a treatment plan for the underlying condition.
The Best Treatment For Arthritis In The Lower Back
Arthritis and lower back pain are major concerns for adults as they age. A quick for the best treatments for arthritis in the lower back bring up articles suggesting pills, injections or surgery as well as a bunch of ads for supplements. While these can all help to manage symptoms of arthritis in the lower back they wont do anything to help to prevent arthritis from getting worse and more importantly wont help keep you active, strong, and doing what you love.
In this article well look at why improving movement and safely building strength is the absolute best treatment for arthritis in the lower back available to everyone.
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What Other Steps Can I Take To Manage Or Treat Ankylosing Spondylitis
In addition to standard AS treatments, these steps may also help ease inflammation and pain:
- Eat a nutritious diet: Fried foods, processed meats and foods high in fat and sugar can have an inflammatory effect. Anti-inflammatory diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, may help fight inflammation.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity and excess weight puts pressure on joints and bones.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can weaken bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Stop smoking: Tobacco use accelerates spinal damage and intensifies pain. Your provider can help you quit smoking.
Psoriatic Arthritis Of The Hip
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that can develop in people with psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition that can also cause inflammation in the joints, including the hip. Over time, untreated inflammation can lead to joint damage. Psoriatic arthritis of the hip is a chronic condition. It can develop before or after the telltale skin symptoms of psoriasis develop.
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Types Of Spinal Arthritis
Arthritis can develop in any joint of the body, including the spinal vertebrae. The most common types of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disorder where the body attacks and destroys joint cartilage.
- Osteoarthritis: A wear-and-tear disorder in which the cartilage weakens and breaks down over time. Also called degenerative joint disease, it is the most common type of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis: Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the joints and the areas where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones. When it occurs in the spine, it is called ankylosing spondylitis . In severe cases, it can lead to several vertebra fusing together.
Several factors can increase your risk of developing arthritis of the spine. These include excess weight, menopause, diabetes, genetics, previous injuries and repetitive movements from certain occupations or activities that put excess stress on the spine.
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Symptoms Of Hip Arthritis
The symptoms of arthritis in the hips include:
- Pain and stiffness in the hips
- Stiffness after sitting for a while
- Stiffness when getting out of bed
- Feeling of grinding or crunching in the joint
- Difficulty bending or using the hips for physical activity
Some of these symptoms can also be shared with other conditions that cause hip pain like bursitis or tendinitis. A doctor can examine your symptoms and order tests like an MRI scan to confirm whether the source of your pain is arthritis.
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Is It Back Pain Or Hip Pain Getting To The Root Of The Problem
If you have pain in your low back, hips, and other areas in your lower body, the source isnt always easy to pinpoint. Your pain may originate in your lumbar spine or your hipor bothand its important that your doctor identifies the source of the problem, so you receive the right treatment.
Because the hips and lower spine are located so closely together, its easy to mistake back pain for hip pain . Regardless of the origin, most low back pain and hip pain share a common cause: normal wear and tear on the body due to aging or triggered by overuse injuries . Lumbar sprains and strains, osteoarthritis, and herniated discs are common degenerative culprits behind low back and hip pain.
Determining if pain is back or hip related can be difficult to distinguish because the lower back and hips are close to each other. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
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.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
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.
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Floor Exercises For Your Core Muscles
These first 4 exercises will strengthen your lower back, abdominal, and/or pelvic floor muscles. Targeted exercises are useful for these muscle groups, because they may not get much use during daily activities.
This exercise involves a very slight internal movement that isolates and strengthens your core and pelvic floor muscles:
Do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Tai Chi Instead Of Yoga
Alternative exercises like yoga are known to build strength and flexibility. But tai chi may be a better bet for alleviating pain from back arthritis.
Tai chi originated as a fighting technique, but has transformed into gentle, continuously moving stretches. Many poses work from the waist, which enhances spinal stretching.
Unlike yoga, tai chi puts little stress on the joints and helps improve balance. If youre new to tai chi, consider signing up for a class. The exercises can also be modified for severe arthritis back pain.
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Do You Know The Risks Associated With Back Pain
One of the major aspects that are making the professionals succumb to back pain is work from home. While most of the working professionals always dreamt of working from home but amid the lockdown, this time during the lockdown, improper posture, seeking comfort zone while working are major reasons for back pain.
Lower Back pain is associated with modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, bone density, occupational injury, the inclusion of poor ergonomics. The physical ability arising from pain and loss of functional capacity reduces the quality of life and increases the risk of further morbidity.
Inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, etc. are one of the leading causes of joint problems among the geriatric population and accounts for over 50% of the hip joint complications. Although these conditions can affect any joint but pain in the lower back is a major reason affecting the hip joint. Apart from treatment, one should take the right diet for osteoarthritisand hip joint arthritis.
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What Will Happen To Me
For most people low back pain is an unpleasant but common condition that settles down fairly quickly. This usually takes 1-2 weeks but can last several weeks for some people. After two months, 9 out of 10 people will have recovered. For many people, low back pain can return over the years but your experience and learnings from your previous bout can support you in returning to normal function more quickly.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Arthritis
Symptoms of spinal arthritis may differ from person to person. In general, they may include:
Back and neck pain, especially in the lower back
Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten your back or turn your neck
Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae
Feeling of grinding when moving the spine
Pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body
Whole-body weakness and fatigue
Pain and numbness in your arms or legs if the nerves are affected
Although back pain is a common symptom, not all people have it, even those with advanced spinal arthritis. On the other hand, some may experience pain even before arthritis can be seen on an X-ray.
In certain types of spondyloarthritis, eye inflammation may occur, causing pain, watery eyes and blurred vision.
Surgery For Back Arthritis
Surgery is a last resort when it comes to arthritis in the back. Know that 95 percent of people with back pain will not need surgery, and 75 percent will fully recover within three months, says Dr. Tiso.
Doctors recommend that you try medications, physical therapy, and weight loss before considering surgery, says Dr. Kilian. The best surgical outcomes often occur in patients who are actively involved in physical therapy and have a healthy body weight, he says.
The type of surgery depends on the type of arthritis and region of the back that is affected. Depending on the procedure performed, surgery aims to decompress any pinched nerves and free up the nerve roots from bone spurs and other tissues that may be pressing on them.
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