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Lumbar Osteoarthritis Degenerative Arthritis Health Education
Lumbar osteoarthritis is a form ofdegenerative arthritis in the low back that causes pain stiffness andinflammation in the joints between vertebrae there are 24 set joints on theback of each vertebra that connect the bones of the spine and allow for a smallamount of movement wear and tear on the set joints in the lower spine causes thecartilage between the two bony sides of the facet joints to break down withoutcartilage the bony parts of the joint rub together as the spine moves as aresult the joint losses motion and the surrounding tissue becomes inflamedosteoarthritis of the spine commonly
occurs as a result of aging trauma tothe spine and repetitive movements it does not always result in back pain symptoms of lumbar osteoarthritisinclude decreased back motion and flexibility as well as stiffness andpain in the lower regions of the back back muscles may spasm to help stabilizethe spine bone spurs may form on the surfaces of the facet joints as aresponse to joint pain and instability these bone spurs can then irritate orcompress nearby nerves in the spine causing symptoms of radiating nerve painlumbar osteoarthritis is a common cause
of low back pain and people over age 60early diagnosis and lifestyle modifications are helpful in treatingarthritic pain.
Sciatica or sciatic neuralgia is a commoncondition in which one of the spinal nerve roots of the sciatic nerve is compressed resultingin lower back, buttock and leg pain. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve derived from 5 spinalnerve roots: L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It runs from the lumbar spine through the buttockdown the leg and the foot on the posterior aspect. There is one sciatic nerve on eachside of the body. Typically, only one side of the body is affected.A typical sciatica pain is described as a sharp shooting pain in the lower back, downthe buttock, thigh and leg on one side of the body. There may also be numbness, burningand tingling sensations. The pain can get
worse with sitting, moving, sneezing, or coughing.The patterns of pain depend on which nerve root is compressed, and follow the dermatomedistribution. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniatedspinal disc. The spinal disc is a soft elastic cushion that sits in between the vertebraeof the spine. With age, the discs become rigid and may crack, the gellike center of thedisc may protrude out and become a herniation outside the normal boundaries of the disc.Disc herniation presses on the nerve root as it exits the spine.In majority of the cases the condition resolves by itself after a few weeks of rest and conservativetreatment. Pain relief, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs and muscle relaxants may be prescribed.Stretching exercises and physical therapy may be recommended.Surgery may be needed if the pain doesn't go away after 3 months or more of conservativetreatments. The herniated disc may be removed in a procedure called discectomy. Or, in anotherprocedure called laminotomy, part of the bone of the vertebrae may be cut to make room forthe nerve.