Arthritis of the spine, also called spinal osteoarthritis, is a degenerative condition that causes inflammation of the spinal facet joints due to the natural breakdown of protective cartilage. This can commonly result in pain and stiffness as well as radiating symptoms if an enlarged ligament or bone spur puts pressure on one of the many nerves in the spinal column.
For people living an active lifestyle, this can be a difficult diagnosis to receive because it may affect your ability to do the things you love. If you are someone who regularly goes to the gym, one of the first questions you have may be whether or not you can work out if you have arthritis of the spine.
Tips for staying active if you have arthritis of the spine
Everyone is different, so whether or not you will be able to work out will depend on factors like the severity of your spinal arthritis, your age and any other conditions you are dealing with. Exercise is actually a very important part of treatment for arthritis of the spine as it helps to improve blood flow, strengthen supporting muscles and keep your spine flexible, but it is important to do it safely. Before starting any exercise program, whether at home or in the gym, do the following:
- Get clearance from your doctor. Your diagnosing physician should be best able to tell you how much exercise you are able to do with your condition. Be prepared to start at a less intense level than you may have previously been used to.
- Listen to your body. When you are working out, be extra cautious and stop if you feel any unusual discomfort or sudden pain. Better to back off than to risk worsening your condition.
- Use proper form and mechanics. Proper form is essential to make sure stress is being evenly distributed across your body. You may want to consider consulting with a licensed personal trainer or physical therapist who can show you how to exercise properly if you are dealing with this condition.
Finding lasting relief from arthritis of the spine symptoms
Arthritis of the spine is a common condition, and while not reversible, can often be successfully managed with basic treatments like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, using hot and cold therapy, getting regular exercise and eating a nutritious diet. Physical therapy and spinal injections may also be attempted if symptoms become more chronic and severe.
Surgery may become a serious consideration if conservative options have been exhausted and your pain is severe enough to seriously disrupt your everyday quality of life, including exercise and workouts. Patients considering surgery for spinal arthritis should contact USA Spine Care to explore their options and learn about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures can relieve nerve compression being caused by arthritis of the spine on an outpatient basis, with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
To find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, ask for your no-cost MRI or CT scan review today.*