What is Lumbar arthritis and how to diagnose and treat it?

Arthritis is of different types however, the common symptom is inflammation and unceasing pain in one or combination of body parts. Having said this we shall see here what lumbar spine arthritis is and its causes, treatment, prevention and so on..

What does lumbar spine arthritis mean?

This particular arthritis is even predominantly called as spinal arthritis as it affects the spine of humans. It actually is not a condition, nevertheless a sign of many kinds of arthritis that distort the spine. Amongst many causes, Osteoarthritis has been found as the major common source of pain associated with lumbar arthritis.

What is Lumbar arthritis and how to diagnose and treat it?  Photo Credit: haikudeck.com

It is predicted that more than 50 million US citizens suffer from some kind of physician-diagnosed arthritis. However, lumbar arthritis is not a kind of arthritis by itself, most of the people suffering from arthritis go through pain around the lumbar region of the spine.

Symptoms of Lumbar arthritis:

The bones present in the lower-laying spine undergo lingering soreness and there is a chronic pain in the lower spine bones. Usually, this region has 5 or 6 vertebrae. For few people burning feeling is felt post physical activities or at times Lumbar arthritis patients have stiffness in this region post waking up.

Other symptoms of Lumbar arthritis include:

  • muscle spasms
  • decreased series of motion
  • cracking sound from the bone joints which have pain.

What are the causes of lumbar arthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA):

This lumbar arthritis is majorly linked to osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage which cushions the facet joints over time wears away. These facet joints are those joints present on both sides of the vertebra. These joints are even joints where the attachment of the vertebra takes place. This makes the bones in the spine to crush and thrust against each other when movement takes place. As an outcome, inflammation occurs in the joints and eventually leads to pain. Exterior reasons, like obesity, poor nutrition, and temperature too can lead to inflammation flare up.

Psoriatic arthritis:

The next common arthritis that leads to lumbar arthritis is definitely psoriatic arthritis. This kind of arthritis hits only such people who are suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis, as we know is a kind of autoimmune malfunction that leads to increased areas of itchy, reddened skin.

Nearly 20% of populace having psoriatic arthritis will surely go through pain and swelling at the region close to the lower back and in few instances, bony excess growth can lead to fusion of the vertebrae together in the back. This can end up in loss of motion and may also create an unending feeling of stiffness.

Reactive or Enteropathic arthritis:

The onset of lumbar arthritis is even linked to Reactive and Enteropathic arthritis. Though these two arthritis types don’t have a clear distinction in terms of symptoms and causes clinically they are taken as separate in the medical dictionary.

Diagnosis of lumbar arthritis:

If someone is going through arthritis it only signals that he/she could have by now been suffering from psoriatic arthritis. In the majority of the cases of the later mentioned arthritis, an identification of psoriasis will precede any other form of arthritis signs that take place.

If there is a sense of creaking, stiffness, in addition to lost motion in the lower back it is better to consult the doctor and go for a physical examination under the doctor’s guidance to check and know the causes of swelling and inflammation at the region of the pain. Probably an X-ray diagnosis will bring out the cause. In few instances, the doctor may even ask for a blood test to find out what arthritis type is present. An intervention of a rheumatologist, a physician who is specialized in treating joint pains may sometimes come in for additional testing.

Treatment of Lumbar arthritis:

A normal treatment procedure for this arthritis includes one or combination of the below-mentioned treatments:

Usually, Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines will do the magic unless it is severe and these medicines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the common options preferred are: Ecotrin, Advil, and Aleve. If OTC medicines don’t work corticosteroids or muscle relaxants will be prescribed. In addition to OTC medications, there are also alternative treatments which may include physiotherapy, acupuncture, and homeopathy. Pain caused near the lower back due to lumbar arthritis can even be reduced through chiropractic care. However, all these are just temporary and as we know any kind of arthritis is a condition that prevails for life and so only the severity can be reduced but not eliminated completely.

Certain lifestyle changes can even lessen the pain and these are: losing weight, having anti-inflammatory diet, abstaining smoking, lessening alcohol intake.

As a last resort if nothing can ease inflammation and pain the doctor may suggest surgery as a last resort and even this is suggested only when there is a fusion of bones and the spine is totally in a bad condition where it obstructs all kinds of motions.

Prevention of lumbar arthritis:

Actually, it is not one or two reasons that trigger lumbar arthritis and many factors such as the age, history of the family, and even gender come into play and these factors hold good to all arthritis types. However, these reasons can’t be controlled whilst few other reasons can be managed to control the pressure and pain of the vertebrae. To lower the risk of flare-ups, sufferers should maintain correct health, discard heavy exercises that cause stress on the joints and focus on light-weight exercises such as aerobics, yoga, and swimming. And more importantly, proper care should be taken while moving or walking.

These, in brief, are causes, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of lumbar arthritis.

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