Everything You Need to Know about Spinal Arthritis

January 28, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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Greetings .. Gloria is away this week, and will resume posting on February 4, 2008. In the meantime, please enjoy this article about Spinal Arthritis. // HART

The variations of different diseases create one of the biggest challenges for physicians, researchers, and patients. For instance, we often hear through the mass media that scientists are searching for the “cure for cancer.” However, cancer exists in several forms, including lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Each of these forms of the disease includes different symptoms and treatments, and would thus require different cures. Likewise, various types of arthritis exist, such as psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Another variety of this devastating disease is spinal arthritis.

Spinal arthritis, or spinal stenosis, involves the tapering of the backbone, manifesting itself through stress on the spinal cord as well as on the roots of nerves. This disease usually involves three regions of the spine: the canals at the nerves’ base that expand from the spinal cord; the gaps between the spine’s bones, through which nerves exit the spine and then continue to other body parts; and the tube in the middle pillar of bones, through which the roots’ base and the spinal cord continue. This tapering can include either a huge or tiny region of the spine. The sufferer of spinal arthritis may feel aches or a lack of sensation in the shoulders, neck, or legs.

Spinal arthritis sufferers are most often women and men who are over fifty-years-old. Nevertheless, younger people who experience an injury to their spine may also experience spinal arthritis. In addition, those who are born with tapering of the spinal channel may also become inflicted with this disease.

Spinal arthritis sufferers of all ages may experience no symptoms, due to the tapering of the area in the spinal channel. Nevertheless, if this narrowing puts stress on the nerve roots or spinal cord, indicators of spinal arthritis—spasms, lack of sensation, aches in the legs and arms, and weakness–result. Also, if the tapered region in the spine presses down on the nerve base, sufferers of spinal arthritis may experience pain searing down their leg. They should immediately engage in bending exercises, strengthening exercises, stretching the lower back, and sitting.

When a victim of spinal arthritis is not experiencing tremendous or worsening nerve association, then the following treatments might be prescribed:

* Physical therapy or exercises to increase stamina, continue the spine’s motion, and fortify back and stomach muscles. This will help to make the spine more stable. Aerobic activity is also an option.

* Corticosteroid injections into the remotest of the membranes covering the nerve roots and the spinal cord, to lower swelling and treat sharp pain that spreads down a leg, or down to the hips.

* Anti-swelling drugs that contain no steroids, including aspirin, ibuprofen (i.e. Advil, Motrin, Nuprinl), to lower swelling and reduce aches.

* Limited activity, which is based on how involved the nerves are.

* Analgesics including Tylenol, to reduce pain.

* Anesthetic shots, also known as nerve blocks, nearby the nerve that is affected, to momentarily reduce pain.

When treatment not involving surgery is ineffective, surgery becomes an option. The objective is to lessen the nerves’ pressure or spinal cord, and to re-establish and sustain the spine’s arrangement and strength.

Today, spinal arthritis remains one of the most devastating types of diseases that people can suffer from. Fortunately, physicians and researchers continue to improve its treatment, in order to alleviate its victims’ pain.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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