According to arthritis research UK, four out of five people will experience some form of back pain in their lives. But back pain caused by arthritis can be much more serious, and can go undetected for many years which means it is left to get worse. Arthritis of the lumbar spine affects the joints that connect each spinal segment. When arthritis sets in then the joints become stiff making it difficult to move or bend the spine.
But there are treatments to help alleviate the pain.
The continuous application of heat to the back has been shown to be more effective than over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Wearing a heat pad underneath the clothes will offer relief from pain and stiffness. Apply the pad directly to the skin and leave on until it turns cold. Hot water bottles are also a great way to relieve discomfort but they are not as convenient or discreet as pads.
Ice is also an excellent treatment for arthritis pain in the back, this will help alleviate discomfort. Never apply ice directly to the skin, always wrap it in a towel or cloth.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) may reduce the amount of inflammation around the arthritic joints. Lowering inflammation can relieve both pain and stiffness. Always follow the correct dosage and never take anti-inflammatory drugs that have been prescribed to someone else.
Physical therapy can be a huge help to anyone suffering with arthritis related back pain. It can be used to strengthen the muscles around the lumbar spine. If the spine is better supported and has stronger muscles, stiffness and pain can be significantly reduced. A physical therapist can also offer you a range of tailor made exercises to help your condition.
Cortisone injections are commonly used in the treatment of arthritis, cortisone is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. A small needle is inserted into the back, allowing it to be delivered straight to the affected area.
Anti-inflammatory gels have also been shown to have a significant effect on a patient’s arthritis pain, rub the affected are up to three times a day. Always follow the directions on the packet; these gels contain anti-inflammatory drugs that are absorbed into the skin.
Sleep on a firm mattress, this can help support the muscles in your back and reduce pain and discomfort. Try to sleep on your back because according to the arthritis foundation, sleeping on your back can put strain on the back.