When Osteoarthritis is the Cause of Your Chronic Lower Back Pain

When Osteoarthritis is the Cause of Your Chronic Lower Back Pain

In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, our team of providers wants to take this time to highlight this common (but often misunderstood) condition. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common form. It's a chronic condition that contributes to the breakdown of cartilage in your joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. 

Osteoarthritis often affects the knees, hips, shoulders, and, unfortunately, the joints in the spine too. Chronic lower back pain can be a sign of this condition. 

If you're suffering from chronic lower back pain, it's essential to understand the causes and possible treatments available to you. Here's what you need to know about osteoarthritis, how it can contribute to lower back pain, and what you can do about it.

How osteoarthritis affects your lower back

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, including your lower back. The condition causes the cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the bones, to wear down, leading to bone-on-bone contact. This friction can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the lower back.

Some of the factors that can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis in the lower back include:

Age

As you age, the cartilage in your joints naturally begins to wear down, making you more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis. Many people even call this the "wear and tear" type of arthritis.

Genetics

Your genes can affect whether you develop osteoarthritis; certain genetic mutations may make you more likely to develop this condition. Remember, however, that just because you have a family history of arthritis doesn't necessarily mean you'll develop the condition. There are still many risk factors that are within your control. For example, you can help fight inflammation by eating an anti-inflammatory diet and exercising regularly. 

Injury

Previous injuries to your lower back can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis in the injured area.

Obesity

Excess weight, especially in the abdominal area, can contribute to back pain. Being overweight increases your risk of arthritis by placing extra pressure on the joints, including your knees, hips, and back. 

How to manage lower back pain from osteoarthritis

If you're experiencing chronic lower back pain, speaking with your International Spine, Pain & Performance Center provider is essential. There are many potential causes of back pain, and osteoarthritis is just one of them. Our team can diagnose whether osteoarthritis is the cause of your pain and recommend appropriate treatment options. 

Once we’ve confirmed that osteoarthritis is the source of your back pain, we may suggest some of these potential treatment options:

In many cases, treating arthritis from multiple approaches (including lifestyle modifications and treatments) may provide the best relief.

Take action against osteoarthritis in your back

Questions about back pain? Take a stand against back pain this May, and reach out to us. Managing your condition can reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.

Schedule an appointment in our Arlington, Virginia, or Washington DC, office to explore your treatment options.

You Might Also Enjoy...

   Lifestyle Changes To Ease Back Pain

Lifestyle Changes To Ease Back Pain

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability around the globe, but thankfully, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help ease your pain. Read on to learn more, plus how we can help when lifestyle changes alone aren't enough.

Can You Treat Persistent Sciatica Without Surgery?

Sciatica, the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, is notorious for causing lower back pain that can radiate through the buttocks and down the leg. If you're wondering if you can tame this pain sans surgery, you're not alone. Read on to learn more.
How to Adapt Your Workouts With Knee Pain

How to Adapt Your Workouts With Knee Pain

Physical activity is vital for your mental and physical health, but knee pain may force you to change your normal workout. Here's how you can adapt your workout to still reap the benefits of exercise.
3 Causes of One-Sided Neck Pain

3 Causes of One-Sided Neck Pain

Pinpointing the source of your neck pain is the first step in finding relief, but what’s causing your one-sided neck pain? Read on to find out three potential causes of one-sided neck pain and how to help.
   Myths and Facts About Physical Therapy

Myths and Facts About Physical Therapy

Physical therapy refers to a group of therapies, exercises, and techniques that help address countless musculoskeletal issues, but many myths exist. Read on to see if you can sort fact from fiction.
The Truth About Kegels

The Truth About Kegels

Kegels may be touted as the best way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, but are they right for you? Read on as we share the truth about Kegels, including when they work and when you might consider other treatments.