When Back Pain is Really Arthritis

Most people dismiss back pain lightly, thinking that it is a temporary pain. However, chronic back pain is something to have checked out and treated because your pain might be more than just a pain in the neck.

Dr. Ellie Cannon writes, “While lower back pain can be caused by physical injury, or slipped discs, for five per cent of sufferers, the pain is due to inflammation caused by a form of arthritis”.
Your lower back pain and stiffness can actually be signs of arthritis in the spine. How can you tell? Arthritis in the spine can happen to anyone, but it is most common in older patients. Cannon says that if a young person is plagued with back pain for more than three months in the prime of their life, chances are it is more than just back pain and they should get it checked out. Obese individuals and heavy laborers are also at risk. If you have ever had an injury to your spine, arthritis should be on your list of diseases to watch out for too.

Cannon writes, “Since back pain is so common, the problem can go undiagnosed for years and lead to long-term damage. But it can be treated”. So how does one treat arthritis of the spine?


  1. Anti-inflammatory Medications: The back pain from arthritis is primarily caused by the flare up of the joints and muscles. Once the inflammation has gone down, the pain is relieved.
  2. Weight Loss: For many, relief comes through losing some weight. It is hard to lose weight when it is painful to exercise, but every pound loss means less pressure on your joints and bones. For example, did you know that every pound of body weight puts three pounds of pressure on the hip joints? Just losing ten pounds would relieve your hips of thirty pounds of pressure.
  3. Chiropractor Adjustments: By keeping the spine healthy, the nervous system can do its part to help heal the body naturally.
  4. Ice and Heat: The combination of ice and heat can help with the inflammation of the joints. The heat helps the spine to not be so stiff, while the ice helps reduce the negative affects of strenuous activity.

If you have back pain that will not go away, don’t dismiss it so lightly. Instead, visit your doctor to rule out arthritis. Whether your back pain is arthritis or just back pain, it is still wise to treat it and care for it on a regular basis to avoid further damage and pain.


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