You may be one of those who are wondering if your back pains have a connection with arthritis. Why do they often occur together? Which causes which? Studies explain that arthritis is a risk factor that may influence the development of back pain. It can manifest itself in many ways. One of them is joint inflammation – a problem that eventually leads to lower back pain and hip pain. Before you seek upper cervical care, physical therapy, or other remedies, you might find it helpful to determine whether you have arthritis.
Understanding Arthritis and Back Pain
Arthritis comes in forms, and sadly most of them cause debilitating effects on people. One notable example we would like to share is osteoarthritis (OA). Currently, about 32.5 million Americans have OA; unfortunately, a significant fraction of these individuals experience searing pain in various parts of the body, including their upper and lower back.
Studies refer to OA as the “wearing out” of spinal joints. When the spinal joints wear out, they fail to maintain the integrity of the spinal column, leaving you at risk of compressing nerve roots and irritating the brainstem and other sections of the spinal cord. Additionally, osteoarthritis can put you at risk of growing bone spurs or excess bone tissues that may further damage your nerve roots.
Over time, OA can increase your susceptibility to worse health complications, including:
- Chronic pain
- Bone tissue death
- Deterioration of cartilage and other connective tissues
- Stress fractures
- Sciatica (sciatic nerve compression)
If you suspect having osteoarthritis, consider consulting your physician or a rheumatologist. This way, you can lessen your chances of developing worse conditions and find a suitable remedy.
On the other hand, if you don’t have osteoarthritis or other forms of arthritis but experience mild to severe back pain, we strongly suggest looking into other back pain risk factors.
Other Common Back Pain Risk Factors
Besides arthritis, some patients who complain about back pain have additional risk factors. Unfortunately, such issues aggravate back pain. Are you familiar with such risk factors? If not, let’s help you get acquainted with each of them:
You may start to experience back pain in your mid-30s to early 40s. As you age, your bones weaken and tend to shrink in size and density. When this happens, you become more prone to injuries and fractures. Your muscles can also lose their strength, endurance, and flexibility.
Also, your spinal discs begin to dry out; it’s part of the wear and tear that contributes to your spinal bones rubbing against each other, causing pain. Age also contributes to the narrowing of the area around your spinal cord.
If you don’t move enough, your body tends to be in poor shape, and your muscles weaken, making it incapable of supporting your back and the rest of the body.
Excess body weight
Not exercising enough may also lead to obesity or being overweight. When you have excess body weight, you tend to put more pressure and stress on your spinal joints and discs, leading to back pains.
Improper heavy lifting
When lifting something heavy from the ground, you should not use only your back to carry the weight. This can cause unwanted injury to your back. You should involve your legs, core, arms, and back muscles when lifting something heavy. This is to ensure there is equal weight distribution to as many muscle groups as possible.
You may risk developing back pain if your work requires long hours of sitting. Desk workers and drivers are among those who complain about back pain a lot. A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to back pain. If possible, stretch between shifts to shake your joints and muscles.
Weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy. This extra weight can add stress to your back and hips. You may consider asking an upper cervical care chiropractor how you can evenly distribute the additional weight throughout your body.
Accidents may lead to unwanted injuries that can cause pain and inflammation in your back and the rest of the body. However, overuse of your joints, ligaments, and muscles can make you more susceptible to injuries. Your ligaments and muscles can get strained, your joints may suffer inflammation, and the discs on your spine can wear thin.
Smokers tend to get more back pain than non-smokers. Tobacco smoking can hinder your discs from adequately absorbing the nutrients needed to remain healthy. In fact, every stick you smoke contributes to the reduction of nutrient content carried by your blood to your spinal discs and joints.
Among those we mentioned, age is the only element beyond your control. You can manage the rest with lifestyle changes, healthier choices, and proper care. However, when you take care of your body and make healthy choices, you will experience its benefits as you age.
Your Back Pain May Be Due To A Neck Misalignment
When you experience back pain, your first thought may be to find the primary source within the area where it hurts. It may surprise you that a misalignment in the bones of your neck is responsible for your pain and discomfort. Your neck may also not show any pain.
When the topmost part of your spine is misaligned, the rest of your spine compensates, leading to pain, particularly in the back. To confirm if a misalignment is present, you will need to consult with a licensed upper cervical chiropractic doctor.
Correcting Spine Misalignment Through Upper Cervical Care
A misalignment in the upper spine may be due to poor posture, odd sleeping positions, repetitive trauma, and injury. These causes can lead to misalignments in the upper cervical spine and contribute to other health issues, including back pain.
When you seek upper cervical chiropractic care, you will not only receive top-notch patient care for an aching back. Instead, you will also have the opportunity to address one of the likely underlying causes of your health problem – a postural imbalance in the cervical spine.
Upper cervical care doctors provide long-term back pain relief and help patients avoid the chances of recurrence by applying gentle and controlled chiropractic adjustments on the topmost vertebrae. Each patient undergoes an in-depth analysis of the cervical spine structure, ensuring the preciseness of the neck bone toggles provided by a chiropractic physician.
Suppose you have not tried upper cervical care before and don’t know where to start. In that case, you may check out the Upper Cervical Awareness directory to find a licensed upper cervical chiropractic doctor near you.