4 Ways To Manage Your Arthritic Back Pain Without Surgery

Posted on: 14 February 2020

If you have arthritis, you may be suffering from back pain and stiffness along your spine. If anti-inflammatory medications aren't helping you anymore, you may be wondering what you can do to get back pain relief. While surgeries like spinal fusion can eliminate painful movement of the vertebrae, these procedures are invasive and should be used as a final resort for arthritic patients. Talk with your doctor about your options; here are four things you might want to try to manage your back pain.

Cortisone Shots

Cortisone is a synthetic version of cortisol, which is a steroid that's produced by your adrenal glands. Cortisol has many functions, such as helping your body regulate blood sugar levels, metabolic functions, and inflammatory levels. Since cortisone acts like cortisol, these shots are able to suppress the body's inflammatory responses that contribute to your arthritis symptoms. While cortisone shots are mainly used for rheumatoid arthritis-related back pain, they can be used for patients with psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis as well.

Low-Impact Exercises

With your doctor's permission and help, it may be beneficial to start a low-impact exercise regimen. While it may feel counter-intuitive to stay active if you feel back stiffness, exercise is helpful for people with arthritis because it helps your spine maintain its range of motion.

Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight. According to one study, there was a strong association between high BMIs and low back pain. Since extra weight can place more stress on the spine, then it can also intensify your arthritis symptoms.

You may want to try a low-impact activity like water aerobics, since water activities keep you buoyant and relieve spinal pressure. You might also want to give yoga a try to reduce back pain. According to arthritis.org, people with arthritis who practice yoga can expect to have better sleep, less stress, reduced joint pain, and improved flexibility.

An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Again, you'll need to consult with your doctor for dietary changes that might help your back pain. For instance, you might need to incorporate more foods with omega-3 fatty acids since these have components have anti-inflammatory properties. You might need to incorporate more dark leafy greens into your diet since these have antioxidants that also reduce inflammation. You might need to add more dairy to your diet so that you can also increase the strength of your vertebrae.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Sometimes people with arthritis develop bone spurs. Bone spurs are bony projections that can develop on your spine in areas with lots of inflammation or areas where cartilage has broken down. While some bony spurs are asymptomatic, some spurs can actually compress nerves. Nerve compression may be the root cause of your back pain. If you get a chiropractic adjustment, then you may relieve pressure that bones spurs and other tissues may be placing on your nerves.

Reach out to health provider in your area to discuss back pain relief options that could help your arthritis.