Arthritis is not just a disease of older adults. That persistent backache that you’ve attributed to pulled muscles or neck strain may very well be osteoarthritis. We also know it as wear and tear, spondylosis, spondylitis and lumbago and degenerative disc disease and wrongly ‘crumbling spine’.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form it is most commonly seen in adults over 45. It may be triggered by work, lifestyle, accidents, injuries or sports. and affects more women than men.
X-rays of the spine will show signs of degenerative changes in 95% of people over 50 and I know that includes me.
What does it feel like?
Stiffness or aching in the morning, after rest, or after exercise. The pain can come and go but it gets worse over time, with reduced movement and stiffness when trying to move.
Other symptoms depend on where and how the spine is affected and what other structures have become involved. They can include pins and needles, shooting or sharp pains and numbness.
Arthritis and back pain advice.
Specific, gentle exercise, heat, painkillers and slight lifestyle changes can all help improve mobility and reduce pain. Tight tense muscles can benefit from tailored stretches and massage and dry needling (acupuncture) can help too.
One needs to find a balance between, gentle activity and complete rest to control symptoms. Working on core strength as we do in class will help the inner unit of muscles to support the spine.