Arthrosis of the spine - Description and treatment

Do you feel pain in your back while moving or resting? One of the possible causes may be arthrosis of the spine. Arthrosis limits mobility, the spine is stiff and one has trouble moving in the morning or after a period of inactivity.

Warning:Do not use this or any other article on the internet to diagnose yourself. Only physicians can correctly diagnose patients. Do not postpone seeing your physician to resolve your health issues in time.

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Arthrosis of the spine - description, treatment
Picture : Arthrosis of the spine

Characteristics of Arthrosis of the Spine and its Causes

Arthroses are one of the most common diseases of the movement apparatus. Arthrosis of the spine is a serious form of this disease and can lead to paralysis.

There are degenerative changes to the vertebrae and intervertebral discs, possibly with compression to the radicular nerves.

Among arthrotic disease of the spine are:

  • spondyloarthrosis – a degenerative disease of intervertebral joints,
  • spondylosis – a degenerative disease of the vertebral body.

Spondyloarthrosis is accompanied by growth of osteophytes on intervertebral joints. There is limited mobility of the spine due to these changes and compression to the spinal root.  This compression results in radicular pain.

Spondylosis leads to degenerative changes in vertebral bodies and to growth of osteophytes. These osteophytes can grow to a size where two vertebrae can be fused together so that that segment of the spine is immobilised. Radicular pain tends to shoot along the nerve.

The pain is severe, and at the beginning, it manifests after exertion. In later stages of the disease, the pain manifests even while resting.

The cause of arthrosis of the spine is not proven.

Factors contributing to progress of the disease:

  • excess strain on the spine caused by sport activity or particular jobs,
  • injuries causing damage to the vertebrae,
  • some metabolic disorders,
  • chronic alcoholism (ethylism),
  • smoking.

Arthrosis of the Spine Treatment – Rid yourself of the Pain

Conservative treatment through rehabilitation and physical therapy should be commenced first. Spa treatment is recommended as well.

The goal of the treatment is to mitigate some of the symptoms – mainly pain and swelling. It also promotes mobility of the affected joints and decelerates progression of the disease.

  • Ethylism – chronic alcoholism.
  • Spondyloarthrosis – a degenerative disease of intervertebral joints.
  • Spondylsis – a degenerative disease of vertebral bodies.
  • Osteophyte – a bony protrusion.

A wide range of methods is used –massages, baths, local application of cold – cryotherapy, electric current therapy, and magnetic field therapy.

Relief from acute pain is brought by analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (paracetamol, cyklooxygenase inhibitors, non-specific anti-inflammatory drugs). These drugs supress pain and inflammation. However, it is not advisable to use these drugs long-term.

Food supplements like glukosamin, chondroitin sulphate or hyaluronic acid are recommended.

Surgical intervention is often needed in advanced stages of the disease.

The ideal precautionary measure of arthrosis is weight reduction along with regular and appropriate physical activity. Sufficient physical activity strengthens muscles and stabilises joints.

Within the rehabilitation treatment low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy has its place in treating some symptoms of arthrosis of the spine as it utilises the analgesic, anti-swelling and healing effects with the support of anti-inflammatory effect. It improves mobility of affected joints and brings general relief.

Home applications are a huge convenience which allows the patient to continue intensive rehabilitation at home, out of hospital facilities.

The ability to start treatment early in a new flare-up of the disease is yet another benefit.