What is it?
Arthritis of the Lumbar spine or Lumbar spine disc degeneration is the break down and narrowing of the intervertebral discs between spine segments. This degeneration leads to dysfunction of the cushioning ability of the intervertebral discs. Losing space between the vertebrae causes more pressure to be placed on the facet joints in the spinal arch. Facet joints normally guide motion and are not meant to bear weight. When increased pressure is placed upon facet joints, the cartilage starts to wear out and the bones can rub together causing stiffness and pain.
What are its Symptoms?
Symptoms will vary slightly from person to person however what we normally see is stiffness and pain of the lower back. Patients often notice their back is especially stiff and immobile in the early morning after getting out of bed, and may loosen over the course of the day. Symptoms also often become worse with prolonged or strenuous activity. When lumbar facet joint arthritis worsens, the joints form bone spurs, the tissue swells from inflammation, and the nerves around these joints can become irritable.
Who does it affect?
- Those with pre-existing spinal injuries
- Those that have been subjected to prolonged strenuous activity
How can it be managed?
Stay active: By partaking in regular exercise or Pilates you maintain range of motion, reduce pain and stiffness and also strengthen the muscle around the spine that will increase quality of function.
Weight loss: by decreasing body weight and size we are able to take a lot of pressure off the spine.
Treatment: Myotherapy and Osteopathy sessions will help subdue symptoms of Arthritis. Massage, dry needling and light joint mobilisation will help decrease stiff, increase blood flow, improve range of motion and decrease pain that is associated with Arthritis.