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What is Osteoarthritis of Spine?

Degenerative spinal disease is known as Osteoarthritis. A condition where there is wear and tear of cartilage. Cartilage provides cushioning between spinal joints, allows smooth movements of spine, acts as a shock absorber when there is any jerky movement of spine. In Osteoarthritis of spine,  gradually the cartilage of spine begins to breakdown causing the joints to rub against each other. On further degenerative process, spurs may be form, putting pressure on nerves of spine. This causes pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in arms or legs.

Causes of Osteoarthritis of Spine



-Hereditary conditions

-Being overweight

-Joint injury

-Nerve injury

-Conditions that affect the structure & function of cartilage

-Lack of physical activity

-Repeated/Overuse of specific joints

Signs & Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of Spine

Osteoarthritis begins gradually which causes pain/ache in spinal joints after any physical activity or exercises. This pain fades off over the time, but may return if the affected joint is overused.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:

-Swelling, tenderness

-Loss of flexibility

-Difficulty in getting out of bed (Stiffness)

-Constant/Intermittent pain

-Feeling of friction (bone rubbing over other bone)

-Weakness/numbness in arms/legs

How Osteoarthritis is treated?

In many cases, treatment of Osteoarthritis is associated with relieving the symptoms of pain & having a healthy lifestyle.

Exercises are the best treatment for Osteoarthritis of spine. Exercises helps in stabilizing the spine, builds up the endurance and helps in increasing the flexibility. It is necessary to maintain a healthy weight.

Some of the exercise to treat Osteoarthritis are Swimming, Walking, Aerobic exercise, Water Aerobics & Yoga.

As a part of Physiotherapy, Osteoarthritis is also treated by use of modalities to relieve pain such as TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), IFT (Interferential Therapy), US (Ultrasound) or use of Hot or Cold fomentation.

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