Osteoarthritis of the Spine (OA)
Osteoarthritis of the Spine is the most common cause of low back pain, especially in people over age 50. It is also the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine. Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can't be reversed.
SOME COMMON CAUSES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS:
- There are a number of causes that can be associated with the development of osteoarthritis. However, as with all pathological conditions, a combination of risk factors is needed to develop osteoarthritis.
- Repeated minor injuries (sports injuries, traffic accidents), poor posture and lifting of heavy weight are common causes of degenerative osteoarthritis.
- As mentioned above, athletes and people performing heavy manual labor are at greater risk of developing early degenerative lesions. In addition, a number of risk factors affect the development and course of the disease:
- Age – Aging: The constant and progressive degeneration of spine structures associated with the patient’s working habits.
- Gender: Osteoarthritis of the spine is more common in women during the postmenopausal period (at ages below 45 years it is more common in men).
- Obesity: results in greater mechanical loads on the spine joints.
- Genetic factors: Family history plays a key role in the development of osteoarthritic lesions.
- Comorbidities: The presence of conditions such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and gout contribute to degenerative spinal osteoarthritis.
Chiropractic treatment focuses on utilizing spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), or more commonly known as the chiropractic adjustment, to reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body in an effort to reduce inflammation and improve function of both the affected joint and nervous system. Our doctors may also utilize physical therapy, therapeutic modalities, taping and strapping, nutrition, joint supports, exercises and home therapy regimens to quicken recovery. Treatment is safe, non-invasive, and a non-addictive alternative to prescription medications or over-the-counter pain medications. By increasing joint mobility and improving your nervous system function and spinal health, your body has the ability to better manage symptoms caused by osteoarthritis of the spine.
To see if chiropractic care is right for your condition, the highly trained doctors at Chiropractic Orthopedic Associates will perform a consultation, examination and if necessary, refer you out for diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Based on the findings of our chiropractic exam and consultation, your doctor of chiropractic may elect to co-treat your low back pain with other healthcare professionals. We work with a network of healthcare providers that specialize in pain management, orthopedics, neurology, internal medicine, physiatry, neurosurgery and more.