Talk With Your Doctor About Optimizing Your Routine
If your back pain at night is interfering with your ability to get a good nights sleep, your doctor needs to know about it. They may want to adjust your overall arthritis medication regimen to ensure it is adequately lowering inflammation to treat underlying disease activity. They may also recommend other medication to help you sleep better, such as muscle relaxers or anti-epilepsy drugs, often used to treat fibromyalgia, such as gabapentin.
Should I See A Health Professional
Most people with low back pain do not need to see a doctor or other health professional as the pain will get better within a week or two. In most cases tests such as x-rays, scans and blood tests are not helpful in finding out the cause of back pain. They are best avoided as they may lead to further unnecessary or harmful medical interventions.
Talk to your doctor if your pain does not settle down after a few weeks, or starts getting worse, or you become very worried by it. A physiotherapist can also be helpful in providing reassurance and helpful information.
You should see your doctor immediately if:
- you have new symptoms such as losing weight, sweats and chills, problems controlling your bladder or bowel, tingling or numbness in your legs or saddle region
- you have osteoporosis or a history of cancer
- you are prone to infection, or you are an intravenous drug user.
What Is Arthritis Back Pain
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints and it affects every single joint in the human body. Once diagnosed with arthritis, a person can only slow down the effect and reduce the symptoms. This situation cant be cured.
Almost 28% of the US adults are affected by this condition. Arthritis causes immobilization and reduces flexibility.
Depending upon the body part affected, there are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatic, fibromyalgia, Enteropathic arthritis, Cervical spondylosis that affect various parts of the body.
One of the common arthritis is spinal arthritis that specifically affects the spine. One of the common symptoms is an intense back pain.
Other types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, neck arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause back pain. So, it is important to properly diagnose your symptoms before taking treatment.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
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Back Arthritis Physical Therapy Will Pt Help
In short: YES!
Physical therapy is very effective arthritis back pain treatment.
A licensed physical therapist, like the ones at In Motion OC, can teach you how to perform movements that can relieve your symptoms and get you back on your feet.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek professional help from a physical therapist.
Strengthening the muscles around the vertebrae allows the muscles to do the worknot the joints. Stronger muscles will help you move with less pain and discomfort.
Physical therapy is crucial to reducing the symptoms of back arthritis.
Use A Foam Mattress Topper
More mattress support is usually better for people with back issues, so consider adding a foam topper, especially if your existing mattress is older or starting to sag, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The memory foam can help you maintain proper spine alignment and support throughout the night.
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Pain And Other Symptoms Of Spinal Osteoarthritis
The intensity and type of pain people experience as a result of arthritis in the spine varies from mild to severe, and occasional to episodic to chronic. Each type of pain is treated differently. Of course, it is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Learn more about the range of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Are There Guidelines About The Use Of Cbd For Chronic Arthritis Pain
Until recently, little guidance has been available for people with arthritis pain who were interested in CBD treatment. Depending on availability and interest, patients and their doctors had to decide on their own whether CBD was a reasonable option in each specific case. To a large degree thats still true, but some guidelines have been published. Heres one set of guidelines for people pursuing treatment with CBD that I find quite reasonable :
- If considering a CBD product, choose one that has been independently tested for purity, potency, and safety for example, look for one that has received a Good Manufacturing Practices certification.
- CBD should be one part of an overall pain management plan that includes nonmedication options and psychological support.
- Choose an oral treatment and start with a low dose taken in the evening.
- Establish initial goals of treatment within a realistic period of time for example, a reduction in knee pain that allows you to walk around the block within two weeks of starting treatment later, if improved, the goals can be adjusted.
- Tell your doctor about your planned and current CBD treatment monitor your pain and adjust medications with your medical providers, rather than with nonmedical practitioners .
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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.
Are There Downsides To Cbd Treatment
As with any treatment, there can be downsides. CBD is generally considered safe however, it can still cause lightheadedness, sleepiness, dry mouth, and rarely, liver problems. There may be uncertainty about the potency or purity of CBD products , and CBD can interact with other medications. For pregnant women, concern has been raised about a possible link between inhaled cannabis and lower-birthweight babies its not clear if this applies to CBD. Some pain specialists have concerns that CBD may upset the bodys natural system of pain regulation, leading to tolerance , though the potential for addiction is generally considered to be low.
There is one definite downside: cost. Prices range widely but CBD products arent inexpensive, and depending on dose, frequency, and formulation, the cost can be considerable I found one brand that was $120/month, and health insurance does not usually cover it.
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Discuss Your Medication Timing
The timing of when you take your medication could play a role in how you experience back pain at night. If you take corticosteroids too close to bedtime, for example, they could cause insomnia. You may be better off taking these medications in the morning with food to avoid affecting your sleep pattern, according to pharmacist Renee Baiano, PharmD, CSP, clinical program manager on the clinical services team at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime.
What Otc And Prescription Drugs Treat Spinal Osteoarthritis
Over-the-counter and prescription medications for spinal arthritis are usually the same as those taken to treat joint-related arthritic pain in the hips and kneesunless the diagnosis is rheumatoid or another type of inflammatory arthritis. For patients with symptoms of pain or numbness affecting the arms or legs, a may be considered.
Today, people with spinal arthritis have access to different types of pain medications that can be taken or applied to relieve pain. Some require a doctor’s prescription, some do not. However, do not assume that just because a drug is available without a prescription, or over the counter, that it is safe for everyone.
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Strong Muscles Help Manage Arthritis Symptoms
Spinal arthritis symptoms tend to worsen when you stand up and when you lie down. When you stand, the force of gravity can compress your spine, which can cause pain. When you lie down, you have less muscular support for your spine, which may increase compression and pain.
Strengthening the muscles around your spine can help support your back, which may help prevent pain and slow the progression of the disease.
So what is the best way to get your back muscles strong to minimize compression on your spine? I spoke with Hagit Rajter, a physical therapist at the Joint Mobility Center at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, who gave me a simple exercise program designed to do just that.
Overview Of Medications Used To Treat Spinal Arthritis A Common Cause Of Back Pain Also Called Osteoarthritis Or Spondylosis
The type of arthritis that more commonly affects the spine is osteoarthritis, also called spondylosis. Other types of arthritis that are inflammatory in nature include rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Here, youll learn about medications for osteoarthritis that affects your neck , mid back , and/or low back .It is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
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Use Hot And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
- Heat treatments can include taking a long, warm shower or bath in the morning to help ease stiffness and using an electric blanket or moist heating pad to reduce discomfort overnight.
- Cold treatments can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Capsaicin, which comes from chili peppers, is a component of some topical ointments and creams that you can buy over the counter. These products provide warmth that can soothe joint pain.
How Your Back Works
The spine, which is also called the backbone or spinal column, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength.
Its made up of 24 bones, known as vertebrae, one sitting on top of the other. These bones have discs in between and lots of strong ligaments and muscles around them for support. There are also the bones in the tailbone at the bottom of the back, which are fused together and have no discs in between.
On either side of the spine, running from top to bottom, are many small joints called the facet joints.
The spinal cord passes inside the vertebrae, which protect it.
The spinal cord connects to the brain through the base of the skull and to the rest of the body by nerves that pass through spaces between the bones of the spine. These nerves are also known as nerve roots.
As you grow older, the structures of your spine, such as the joints, discs and ligaments, age as well. The structures remain strong but its usual for your back to get stiffer as you get older.
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Warm Or Cold Compress
Using a warming pad or whirlpool for a few minutes can loosen a stiff back and make activity easier. Icing the back for 15 or 20 minutes after activity can decrease swelling and provide quick pain relief.
These temporary treatments will not alleviate the underlying causes of back pain or improve long-term joint function.
Tuck A Pillow Between Your Knees
When it comes to back pain at night, your sleeping position can make all the difference, Snyder says. One way to keep your hips and spine in proper alignment and make you more comfortable is to tuck a firm pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side or under your knees if you sleep on your back, he says.
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Treating Spinal Osteoarthritis May Take A Combination Of Therapies
Talk with your doctor about your neck and/or back pain to make sure your diagnosis is accurate and current. Remember that certain types of back problems are degenerative, meaning they may change, improve, or worsen with time. Management of your spinal arthritis pain may involve more than 1 medication or therapy. You have choices, and your doctor can work with you to find the right drug or combination of medications and therapies to ease your spinal osteoarthritis symptoms.
Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain
There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:
- Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
- Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
- Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.
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Osteoarthritis Of The Spine And Disc Degeneration
Medical practitioners often refer to osteoarthritis in the spine as spinal arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or arthritis of the facet joints. Spinal arthritis is relatively common and is most likely to occur in people over age fifty. It represents an ongoing, degenerative process in the spine, and may be associated with a number of other degenerative spinal conditions. In particular, osteoarthritis is associated with degenerative discs in the spine.
See What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative discs and osteoarthritis often occur hand in hand because the disc and facet joints are both part of the same three-joint complex. It is thought that degenerating discs can place undue stress on the facet joints, thus over time leading to degeneration and formation of osteoarthritis in the facet joints . This may be why the two degenerative conditions are so often seen together.
See Facet Joint Disorders and Back Pain
If the disc as well as the facet joints become painful as a result of degenerative changes in the spine, the condition is often called spondylosis. However, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis are different conditions and can occur separately: one can have degenerative discs without any facet osteoarthritis or one can have facet osteoarthritis without degenerative discs.
Surgery For Spinal Arthritis
Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:
Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion
These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.
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Roll Out Your Spine In Bed
If you find yourself lying in bed, unable to sleep due to back pain, try this technique from Nina Geromel, PT, DPT, ATC, a physical therapist and founder of Geromove Physical Therapy: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the bed. Slowly rock your knees side to side for a gentle stretch at the low back. This helps to keep the muscles at the low back relaxed to avoid excess tension and pain overnight, she explains.
How Tight Should I Wear My Back Brace
We can never over-emphasis the importance of ergonomic design in a back brace and that is why all reviewed back braces here are adjustable.
How tight you wear your back brace is completely dependent on how much compression you need at that time. You know how your back feels you know how strenuous work you want to engage in. So many factors will guide you on how tight it should be.
Therefore its a more personal question and you can also talk to your doctor for more insight peradventure you are wearing it due to your doctors recommendation.
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Arthritis In Lower Back Can Be Hereditary
Mrs P is doing incredibly well, and now comes in every three weeks for maintenance care … Yesterday she told me… Her great niece, aged 17 had Harrington rods put in her spine about four years ago for the scoliosis. It was apparently reasonably successful. But last week, the lass went in for a further spinal fusion at L5-S1 – and woke up with a foot-drop. Nuff said…
Update: Mrs P continues to do well. We have now exended the maintenance treatment to every six weeks. And, the arthritis of the back is no different. Another X-ray would probably look just the same. But she’s a different woman. The arthritis of the back wasn’t per se the cause of her pain.
Research shows that if you are significantly over weight, that losing a lot of weight is the most important treatment you can do for arthritic hips, knees and feet. So choose: a knee replacement or lose 50 pounds. Your call, it’s probably going to be one or the other.
It’s true in religion, but it’s true in healthcare too. Like: “You have arthritis, Mrs Jones. I’m afraid there’s nothing to be done.”
It’s a conviction commonly held in medical circles and light years from the scientifically proven truth. Think fatty fish, think exercise, think weight loss, think strawberries, think magnesium deficiency … think Chiropractic.
But yes, sometimes it is difficult. Always? Definitely not!