Dunedin Back Arthritis Doctor
Back pain is one of the most common afflictions affecting Americans. Sometimes, though, that back pain does not result from a pulled muscle or other strain. If your back pain does not go away after a few weeks with conservative treatment, it is possible your discomfort results from some form of back arthritis.
A Dunedin back arthritis doctor can perform tests for a proper diagnose and devise appropriate treatment. You do not need to continue to suffer, a compassionate physician can help.
Common Forms of Back Arthritis
While the lower back is more likely to experience arthritis, this degenerative disease can occur anywhere along the spine. Certain types of arthritis more often affect the spine. These include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis – a chronic condition causing stiffness and inflammation that is most often found in the hips and pelvis
- Osteoarthritis – the most common type of spinal arthritis that results in cartilage breakdown where the bones meet the joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis – this chronic inflammatory disease affects the joints, and occurs when the immune system attacks the membrane lining the joints
- Spinal stenosis – arthritic changes can cause overgrowth of spinal vertebrae that may cause narrowing of the spinal column and subsequent nerve pressure
A Dunedin back arthritis doctor can help determine what specific form of arthritis may be troubling a patient and devise a plan to help treat it.
Symptoms to Watch Out for
The primary symptom of back arthritis is back pain. Usually, pain and stiffness are worse in the morning. It may improve during the day, and then return at night. Frequently, the back pain runs into the hip. Some people may also experience numbness or weakness in the legs and arms.
Rarely, back arthritis may result in loss of bladder or bowel control. This is always a medical emergency and anyone experiencing this symptom should seek immediate treatment.
Risk Factors for Arthritis
Back arthritis often results from long-term wear and tear. For that reason, age is a general risk factor. Heavier people are also at greater risk for developing back arthritis, as the excess weight causes additional wear and tear. Any type of back injury or trauma additionally increases the risk of developing back arthritis. There is also a genetic component to arthritis, so an individual with a family history of spinal arthritis is more likely to develop the disease than someone without this hereditary aspect.
People with scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, are also at increased risk of developing back arthritis. The same holds true for those who engage in a lot of repetitive motions, either at work or during activities such as sports. The ongoing strain from all of these activities and factors puts additional pressure on the back and neck.
Receiving Treatment in Dunedin
A doctor will perform a physical examination and take a detailed medical history. They will often also order an X-ray of the back. Treatment may include physical therapy, along with prescription medications for relief of pain and inflammation. The doctor may also recommend a diet and exercise program to help a patient lose weight and strengthen their back muscles.
If the patient does not experience relief via more conservative treatments, the doctor may order additional diagnostics in the form of an MRI. In some cases, surgery is necessary to relieve pressure on spinal nerves.
Let a Dunedin Back Arthritis Doctor Help
If you suspect you may suffer from spinal arthritis, you need the services of an experienced Dunedin back arthritis doctor. Call today and make an appointment. The sooner you are diagnosed and treatment begins, the sooner you will find relief and a better quality of life.