If you suffer from pain in your back or neck, it may be time to try a new spinal arthritis treatment to relieve chronic pain and stiffness. Spinal arthritis is when one or more of the vertebrae in your back are damaged by injury or progressive wear and tear over time. Chronic pain can have an impact on other aspects of life too; making day-to-day tasks difficult to cope with. Many people find relief after trying different treatments like medication, surgery, exercise, and lifestyle changes that can help manage their condition. Find out about different treatments for spinal arthritis and how they can help you lead a fuller more pain-free life!
Ways to Manage Painful Symptoms
Osteoarthritis of the spine is the most common form of spinal arthritis and causes pain in the lower back region. There are certain home remedies you can try to manage the pain and stiffness associated with this condition.
When your spinal condition is acute, the goal is to be as comfortable as possible. One way to achieve this goal is by using a back brace. Braces work by providing compression while also supporting your lower back while offloading pressure off your painful discs. While wearing a brace can help you relieve symptoms, avoid immobility as this will merely make things worse.
Heat & Cold therapy
Heat and cold are incredibly efficient in combating back pain from arthritis. Both methods of therapy provide patients with support for a healthier back and faster recovery. A blend of both is often recommended over using just one or the other, as it offers an added sense of balance to the body. Patients are encouraged to use the cold method of treatment more frequently than heat. For example, taking 20 minutes to apply the cold therpay pack can help alleviate pain by numbing nerves and yielding relief overall. Heat, on the contrary, soothes muscles after they have been worked physically and helps prevent stiffness in the long run while reducing soreness.
Try implementing heat using a herbal heating pad at different points across your day (morning versus nighttime) depending on how much you're working out or moving around or when you feel most tense!
Pain creams use various ingredients to provide relief for the recipient. It's a widely used form of treatment, especially when combined with other therapies such as exercises and over-the-counter medications. Lots of different pain cream options are out there on the market today; however, we have found that not all pain creams are created equal. Aside from efficacy being one of the most important aspects of topical analgesics, it is also essential that it doesn't leave a greasy residue and isn't stained on clothing after application.
To alleviate the pain and suffering caused by spinal arthritis, many people benefit from engaging in physical therapy. Physical therapy sessions are personalized to each person's unique situation and focus on improving mobility and strength by performing certain exercises. Additional benefits include working closely with a therapist who can help you develop a routine that can be replicated at home as well. If you're suffering because of spinal arthritis, you may find that physical therapy enables you to maintain a high quality of life without experiencing more back pain!
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Symptoms
One of the best ways to prevent spinal arthritis pain is to change your way of living or rather your lifestyle. It's so important for people suffering from spinal arthritis because it does not only affect your spine and bones but it could also impact you as a person in general. Here are the changes you can make:
- Consume an anti-inflammatory diet
- This includes eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, and omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and flax.
- Stop smoking
- Avoid alcohol
- Lose excess weight
Medications for Arthritis in the Back
When it comes to taking care of your spine health, there are plenty of lifestyle changes we can make in and around the home that can go a long way toward easing lower back pain. However, sometimes medication is necessary as well. While medication may not be all that you’ll need to effectively treat spinal arthritis, it can help by reducing inflammation and swelling while reducing your pain levels overall.
Steroid injections are a powerful medication that is injected directly into a specific site experiencing inflammation and muscle pain. These meds provide relief and decrease inflammation. They are administered in the doctor's office and due to the side effects of these medications, you may only be able to receive an injection a limited number of times.
Multiple oral medications can be put to use when it comes down to treating spinal arthritis. The treatments used will differ based on the type of spinal arthritis: osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Over-the-counter medicines are drugs that are sold at drugstores and don't require a prescription to make them. Some of these medications have anti-inflammatory properties while others reduce the pain but they don't necessarily affect swelling directly as some NSAIDs do. Examples of OTC medications that contain anti-inflammatories are Aleve and Advil or Motrin, whereas Tylenol is an example of such a medication that doesn't offer these benefits for reducing swelling as it only lowers the pain. Please be advised that you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using these products to figure out which ones will work best for you depending on your symptoms and diagnosis.
If your pain from spinal arthritis is severe, your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and risks of staying on a mild frequent pain killer if you begin to rely heavily on it. While these types of analgesics are effective in reducing pain in both the short term and long term, due to their highly addictive nature your doctor will want to make sure that you take appropriate steps to avoid becoming dependent on them over time.
Surgery for Spinal Arthritis
When non-surgical treatments are not enough to treat spinal arthritis then it's important to consider surgery. Your spine surgeon will discuss the symptoms you've been experiencing, review your medical history, and order imaging tests if necessary. The surgeon will determine what type of surgery is best for your situation. There are two types of spine surgeries they may perform spinal decompression or a spinal implant.
Spinal decompressions often involve the removal of bone spurs or other foreign matter that might be poking at the outside of the spinal cord which could result in injury or pain when an individual walks.
Many things can cause joint pain, and a spinal implant may be the solution you need. A spinal implant involves attaching a metal implant to the spine to keep space between the vertebrae. This alleviates pressure off of the joint and reduces pain in surrounding areas of the body!
Living with Spinal Arthritis
Spinal arthritis can be a very difficult thing to live with. It's important to remember that you aren't alone in your journey and with the help of medications and other therapies, you can find ways to manage pain symptoms while altering daily routines so no matter where you are at or what you are doing, life doesn't have to stop. Since there is no cure for spinal arthritis, it's important to work closely with your physician(s) throughout the treatment and follow any prescribed regimens consistently over time. With dedication and determination to reach your goals, your courage will pay off!