Most people suffering from spinal arthritis feel pain and stiffness in the lower back area. Normally the pain feels at its worst after waking up in the morning. The first 30 minutes upon waking can be very painful. Throughout the day it may improve but many claim as the day goes by the pain can get worse. In most cases these symptoms are because the patient is suffering from lumbar spine arthritis, typically found in middle aged to older people. This is the most common type of arthritis that affects the spine. A person suffering from cervical spondylosis often finds pain and stiffness in the neck area, however many won’t experience any pain. Read on as Amr Hosny, M.D., who is with the Spine And Rehab Group, explains everything you need to know about spinal arthritis.
What Does Osteoarthritis In The Spine Feel Like?
Osteoarthritis is the world’s most common forms of arthritis. In the United States approximately 50 million people suffer from arthritis, with more than half of those suffering from osteoarthritis. It is rarely found amongst younger people however it is very common for those middle-aged or over. The main symptom people feel when suffering from osteoarthritis is pain in the lower back area, especially in the morning due to inactivity while sleeping. Over time the pain can get worse due to wear and tear of joints. Other symptoms related with osteoarthritis is joint tenderness and stiffness. Many find it difficult to move into certain positions, like bending down to pick up an object. Many people experience a pain or numbness in the legs or arms. A tingling feeling in the legs is not uncommon either. Pain can also move into the shoulder and down the arms. Sometimes, people with osteoarthritis don’t suffer any pain whatsoever.
What Are The Causes Of Osteoarthritis In The Spine?
The cause of osteoarthritis is still unknown in the medical industry however there are many factors that are common for those suffering with it. Unfortunately there is one key factor that we can’t change and that is age. You are much more at risk of getting osteoarthritis if you are older. As you get older the pain often gets worse. Genetics can also play a part, many people who suffer from arthritis have a family member that has the same issue. Joint stress while playing sports or at work has been a common factor. This is due to repeated over use of the joints. Statistics show that those who are overweight are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis, with lack of activity playing a role in many cases. Previous joint or nerve injuries can also be one of the reasons.
What Does Cervical Spondylosis Feel Like?
The name cervical spondylosis originates from the latin word cervix, which means neck. The most common issue with sufferers is a pain in the neck. The pain varies with each patient. This pain often gets worse when the neck is kept in the same still position for a long length of time. Lots of people who stare into a computer screen for hours during the day while at work often feel pain in the area. Many will get a stiff neck that can cause pain while doing some of your everyday activities. People may find it hard to move their neck up and down or side to side, which often makes it difficult to drive a vehicle or can even cause issues while walking. Even laughing or sneezing can bring a feeling of discomfort.
Cervical spondylosis is also felt in other parts of the body. Sufferers sometimes complain about having headaches. These headaches tend to originate at the top of the neck and may spread to the forehead. It can also be the root cause of weakness to the legs. A sufferer might feel that their legs are much heavier and may experience difficulty walking. Feelings of numbness in the shoulders and arms is also not uncommon.
What Causes Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical spondylosis is often caused by wear and tear of the body. In many cases physical work or sport might be the main factor on why somebody is suffering from cervical spondylosis. Researchers also claim that there is a strong possibility that it is also hereditary with many people who suffer from this, have family members that were diagnosed with cervical spondylosis. In some cases a previous neck injury might also be the cause. It is regularly found amongst those who smoke tobacco. It can affect both men and women normally middle aged and upwards, however it seems that men develop symptoms earlier than women.
Can Exercise Help As A Treatment For Cervical Spondylosis and Osteoarthritis
Luckily there are non-surgical treatments available to patients suffering from both cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis. Surgery tends to be the last form of treatment people go for. Other treatments such as medicine and a change of diet have proven to be successful. Exercise has also been a great way to help reduce the pain. Before exercising it is important that you discuss this with a spine doctor just in case it may cause even further damage to the area.
Regular cardio throughout the week to get the heart pumping can help ease the pain. Range-of-motion exercises help your joints move and can often relieve the feeling of numbness and stiffness. Many spine doctors will show you a range of neck movements and exercises. If done correctly and regularly, many feel that it can help reduce the pain. Yoga can help with the body’s posture and show positive signs with those suffering. Strength work is advised in many cases. There are lots of exercises available, one of which is the curl-up crunch. It is a common technique which helps improve the joints in the area and build up strength in the back. The exercise is fairly straightforward. The patient must lie down on their back with knees bent and feet firmly on the floor. Their arms and hands must be crossed across their chest. They must raise their upper torso off the floor and then lower down. Doing a few sets of these each day has had some great results.