The most common area for spinal arthritis is the lower back (the lumbar spinal region).
And the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, though symptoms can include creaking sounds, muscle spasms, and decreased range of motion.
Let’s look at the three types of lumbar arthritis and how pain specialists treat them.
The most common form of arthritis, lumbar osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage that protects the lower spine joints.
The cartilage breakdown leaves the nerves seated in the spine exposed.
As the spinal bones rub and grind together, the joints wear out, creating smooth, bony lumps known as bone spurs.
The bone spurs press against the exposed nerves, which causes pain.
Spondyloarthritis is a group of diseases characterized by inflammation at the attachment sites of the tendons and ligaments to the spine.
The disease can also attack the arms and legs, but the most common symptom is back pain.
There are many variants of spondyloarthritis with similar pain symptoms, including psoriatic arthritis and reactive arthritis.
The body is continually forming new bone to replace old, broken-down bone.
Osteoporosis occurs when the body stops forming new bone fast enough to replace the broken down bone, resulting in lost bone mass.
Lumbar osteoporosis causes weakness and pain, and as bone mass decreases, bones become more vulnerable to injury.
Home and Prescription Treatments
Doctors usually recommend home remedies like losing weight, exercise, physical therapy, prescription and non-prescription muscle relaxants, and over-the-counter pain relief medication to manage lumbar arthritis pain.
When the above treatments don’t provide the expected relief, pain specialists often recommend outpatient procedures.
Caudal epidural injections can relieve the pain caused by narrowed disc space resulting in pressure on the nerves as they exit the spinal canal.
The procedure typically involves two injections in the lower back – one of steroid and one of anesthetic.
The anesthetic numbs the pain relief for a few hours, and the steroid reduces the inflammation, relieving pain for up to several months or longer.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS therapy uses a painless, low-voltage electrical current to treat pain.
The procedure involves attaching sticky pads or electrodes on the ends of leads to the skin on the lower back area and administering electrical current.
This procedure stops lumbar arthritis pain by burning the nerve fibers carrying pain signals to the brain.
A single procedure can eliminate pain for one to two years, though it may take around two weeks to experience pain relief.
Lumbar Arthritis Treatment at Texas Pain Physicians
At TPP, we specialize in treating and managing pain.
We can develop a customized treatment plan for your lumbar arthritis or other arthritis.
We offer same-day appointments, advanced medical technology, and exceptional patient care.
Give us a call today or schedule your appointment online.