What is arthritis of the spine?
Arthritis of the spine is another term for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that specifically affects weight-bearing joints, such as those found in the spine. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints coupled with degeneration, such as the breakdown of cartilage. Arthritis of the spine can cause pain, tenderness, stiffness and swelling in the joints of the spine.
Five activities to avoid with arthritis of the spine
- Avoid high-impact exercise. High-impact exercise, exercise where both feet leave the ground at the same time, puts an excessive amount of force and impact on the spine. Avoid high-impact exercises and participate in low-impact exercises such as yoga, swimming, walking or the elliptical trainer instead.
- Avoid contact sports. Participation in contact sports can cause injury to your spine and aggravate symptoms of arthritis of the spine. Participate in non-contact sports instead, such as volleyball, tennis, golf, swimming, biking or walking.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption increases the pain associated with arthritis of the spine because it acts as a muscle relaxant, is a depressant and can be detrimental to mood. Limit your consumption of alcohol or avoid alcohol completely.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking reduces bone density, inhibits circulation, causes a reduction in collagen levels and harms your lungs. If you smoke, quit smoking as soon as possible so your body can start the healing process and you avoid further damage to your body and spine.
- Avoid gaining weight. Excessive weight adds additional stress to the spine and joints, increasing painful symptoms. Maintain a healthy body weight to avoid aggravating symptoms of arthritis of the spine.
Avoiding the five activities detailed above can help you stay on track to control symptoms and enjoy everyday activities even though you are suffering from arthritis of the spine. There are also a few things you can proactively do to improve symptoms including: heat and ice therapy, pain medication, physical therapy, exercise and stretching, massage and eating a healthy diet.
Surgical treatment for arthritis of the spine
For most people, conservative treatment options and avoiding the five activities above will control symptoms of arthritis of the spine. If after a few months, symptoms are not under control, contact USA Spine Care to learn more about our minimally invasive procedures. Our procedures have helped more than 75,000 people find relief from neck and back pain.