Lumbar spine arthritis generally affects the elderly but can affect all age groups. Those who are at high risk for developing this form of arthritis include:
- Older individuals
- Obese individuals
- Individuals who had previous spinal injuries
With this form of arthritis, it mainly occurs in the joints that link every spinal segment or vertebrae.
Lumbar spine arthritis is often accompanied by other spinal conditions such as:
- Disc degeneration – once the facet joints wear out, the disc will also deteriorate over time
- Spinal stenosis – once arthritis progresses, the nerves are pinched which leads to symptoms of spinal stenosis
What are the indications?
Lumbar spine arthritis generally results to low back pain and stiffness. Other accompanying symptoms include:
- Back stiffness early in the morning after moving out of bed that subsides throughout the day
- The symptoms worsen with prolonged or strenuous activity
- Formation of bone spurs
Management of lumbar spine arthritis
The treatment for lumbar spine arthritis is based on the symptoms present. The treatment starts with simple measures before other more aggressive options are used.
Some of the usual treatment options include:
- Physical therapy – this helps strengthen the muscles of the lumbar spine.
- Weight loss – cutting down weight is a hard task for those who have worn out joints but losing even a small amount of weight can help in reducing the pain
- Anti-inflammatory medications – these drugs work by reducing the inflammation around the affected joints
- Application of ice and heat – using ice and heat is highly effective in reducing back pain.
- Chiropractic treatment – manipulation is performed to treat the spine alignment
- Alternative treatment – this includes massage, acupuncture, magnet therapy
- Epidural shots – cortisone is injected directly into the site of arthritis
- Spinal fusion surgery – this procedure is performed to eliminate motion between the adjoining vertebrae. This is an option if other treatment options fail to work.