Arthritis affects millions of Americans and people across the globe. Roughly 80 percent of persons aged 55 and over in the USA struggle with this condition. Back pain from arthritis is primarily due to spinal arthritis. Anyone with arthritis knows that this can be a disabling condition that robs you of mobility and affects quality of life. When it affects the back, it impairs not just mobility but even simple activities such as sleeping.
The location of arthritis back pain varies depending on the type being experienced. Persons with cervical arthritis will have pain that is centered in the neck and upper part of the spine. Those with osteoarthritis have neck pain and lower back pain as well. Lower back pain is also associated with lumbar arthritis.
It is no wonder that finding effective arthritis back pain relief is so important to sufferers and their loved ones. It is important to know at the outset that arthritis cannot be cured. However, the pain associated with the condition can be treated in various ways. The first step to pain management and relief is to know what type of arthritis you have.
Means of providing arthritis back pain relief include:
- Heat and Cold Therapy
Applying heat to sore or damaged muscles and joints provides soothing pain relief in many cases. This heat therapy can either be dry or moist heat. Dry heat involves the application of heating pads or other such heat sources to the affected area. Moist heat can be as simple as soaking in a warm bath or applying a warm, moist towel to the site of pain.
The same is true of cold therapy. Applying an ice pack or a cold compress to the back can help to numb arthritis pain.
Pain medication is a popular arthritis back pain relief option. Depending on the severity of the pain, normal over-the-counter painkillers can sometimes be used. If the pain is severe your healthcare professional will prescribe something stronger.
- Physical Therapy
Many doctors recommend physical therapy as a means of helping to reduce back pain. Chiropractors and physical therapists are well trained in bone and joint health. They know the types of exercises that can help in dealing with back pain.
As with most illnesses, adequate rest plays an important part in the healing process. When back pain becomes unbearable, whether because of arthritis or other conditions, taking a break can do wonders.
Done properly, massages can bring relief to arthritis induced back pain. It is important to stop the massage if it causes pain or major discomfort. Bear in mind also that it is never a good idea to massage overly swollen joints.
As with most other medical conditions, it is always best to speak to a doctor before attempting treatment. Once you have found a method or combination of methods for arthritis back pain relief you can improve your quality of life. Many persons who suffer from this condition still manage to lead productive and active lives.