5 Signs Your Back Pain is Caused by Arthritis

5 Signs Your Back Pain is Caused by Arthritis

5 Signs Your Back Pain is Caused by Arthritis

Nov 23, 2021, 7:41:55 AM Life and Styles

Back pain is one of the most common pains that can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. 

Back pain often becomes chronic and it might not just be from shoveling, lifting too-heavy weights, or wearing too-high heels. Risk factors for back pain include:

- occupational activities

- pregnancy

- a sedentary lifestyle

- poor physical fitness

- older age

- obesity and excess weight

- smoking

- strenuous physical exercise or work, especially if done incorrectly

- genetic factors

- health conditions, such as arthritis and cancer

Let’s look at some signs that your back pain can stem from osteoarthritis.


1. Your other body parts hurt as well

With advanced arthritis other body parts can start aching as well. Wear and tear on the vertebrae can lead to a pinching or compression of the spinal cord and nerves. The nerves running down your back connect to various parts of your body, that is why you can start experiencing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hips, butt, legs, and feet. Those nerves go down the muscles of your legs, which can even result in weakness.


2. Your back pain is getting worse 

Everyone feels pain differently, and there’s no right or wrong time to visit a spine center and see a specialist. Talk to your doctor if the pain occurs and disappears for more than four to six weeks. Most pulled muscles and other minor injuries heal during that period of time, so if the pain still persists or even gets worse, it’s time to check your spine. 


3. The pain is persistent, even in the mornings 

If your back aches even when you first get out of bed in the morning, this pain is of inflammatory origin. So the possible cause could be arthritis

Having inflammation in the spine means it might be due to arthritic changes or a nerve. This pain can also stem from a herniated disc. A disc pushes out and hits the nerves in your spinal cord. Herniated discs commonly occur due to degenerative disc disease, which often happens along with osteoarthritis. 

With arthritis, back pain can get better during the day, however, in the evening it feels a little worse.


4. The pain interferes with sleep 

Back pain that interferes with your sleep is a vicious cycle. Pain can exacerbate if you don’t get enough sleep, however, if your pain is already keeping you up at night, there’s no way for it to subside. If the pain is so severe that it’s affecting your sleep and quality of life, it’s time to see your healthcare provider. 


5. Your back is extremely stiff 

Even if you’re not experiencing pain, you might feel stiff in the morning. In most cases, this stiffness will wear off as you start walking around, however, the pain might come again at night since the joints are stressed from the day. Bending over and arching your back might be especially painful, and the pain can spread to your shoulders and neck.


The Bottom Line 

Since back pain can be caused by other more dangerous factors, such as osteoporosis, kidney issues, pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder, or kidney infections, and even cancer, you should never ignore it. 

Your healthcare provider will make a diagnosis and conduct the correct treatment plan. Your doctor may recommend medication treatment (codeine, hydrocodone, muscle relaxants, antidepressants), physical therapy, or cortisone injections that help reduce inflammation. Other possible options include acupuncture, shiatsu, yoga, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), or surgical intervention (fusion, artificial disk, diskectomy, partially removing a vertebra). 

Prevention is key. To prevent back pain, consider getting regular physical activity, following a healthy diet, and managing your weight.

Published by Amelia Grant

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