What is Arthritis of the Spine?
Arthritis of the spine, also called spinal osteoarthritis, is a degenerative condition that causes inflammation of the spinal facet joints due to the natural breakdown of protective cartilage. This can commonly result in pain and stiffness as well as radiating symptoms if an enlarged ligament or bone spur puts pressure on one of the many nerves in the spinal column.
For people living an active lifestyle, this can be a difficult diagnosis to receive because it may affect your ability to do the things you love. If you are someone who regularly goes to the gym, one of the first questions you have may be whether or not you can work out if you have arthritis of the spine.
Staying Active with Arthritis of the Spine
Everyone is different, so whether or not you will be able to work out will depend on factors like the severity of your spinal arthritis, your age, and any other conditions you are dealing with. Although some exercises might be too much, there are low-impact options that you can choose including yoga, walking, and swimming.
Exercise is a very important part of treatment for arthritis of the spine as it helps to improve blood flow, strengthen supporting muscles, and keep your spine flexible, but it is important to do it safely. Before starting any exercise program, whether at home or in the gym, do the following:
- Get clearance from your doctor. Your diagnosing physician should be best able to tell you how much exercise you can do with your condition. Be prepared to start at a less intense level than you may have previously been used to.
- Listen to your body. When you are working out, be extra cautious and stop if you feel any unusual discomfort or sudden pain. Better to back off than to risk worsening your condition.
- Use proper form and mechanics. Proper form is essential to make sure stress is evenly distributed across your body. You may want to consider consulting with a licensed personal trainer or physical therapist who can show you how to exercise properly if you are dealing with this condition.
Finding Relief from Arthritis Pain with BEST Health System
Arthritis of the spine affects a large percentage of the population. Although it is not reversible, it is certainly manageable through conservative therapies. Oftentimes, patients can find relief through activities such as physical therapy, pain medications, hot and cold therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Surgery may become a serious consideration if conservative options have been exhausted and your pain is severe enough to seriously disrupt your everyday quality of life, including exercise and workouts. At BEST Health System, we offer a variety of treatment options depending on the patient’s health and preferences.
If you are suffering from spinal arthritis pain, it may be time to seek help. Contact BEST today to learn more about our services.