Lumbar (Low Back) Pain Spondylitis

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Understanding the Lumbar Spine

The lumbar spine was built for flexibility and support of the body’s weight. Due to this combination, it is frequently prone to injuries and inflammation.  Spondylitis is an inflammatory disease of the joints in the back. Although the condition can affect other joints, the most common site for this painful condition is along the vertebrae in the back. The inflammation of the joints causes extreme pain, and then the stiffening of the back compounds the discomfort.

Spondylitis and Lumbar Spine Pain

The joints between each bone of the back become inflamed by a process that is not well understood. To heal this perceived injury, the bones of the back form new bone to replace the damaged tissue. When this bone grows large enough, it can fuse with the vertebra below or above it. Once the two bones are fused together, the back does not have the flexibility or movement it once did. This can result in lumbar spine pain and an unnatural curve to the back, a condition known as spondylitis.

Is Spondylitis a Symptom of a Lumbar Spine Pain?

Spondylitis is one of those diseases that seem to have a different course of effect for different people. For this reason, symptoms can only be generalizations. You may have one, all, or none of these symptoms, and still have spondylitis.

The most common early sign of this condition in the lumbar spine is pain and stiffness in your lower back and in the buttocks. You can have the pain on only one side, alternating sides, or both sides at the same time. It tends to be worse in the mornings, and it is a dull, wide-spread pain rather than a sharp, pin-point pain.

Eventually, the pain rises up the spine to cause stiffness in the chest, ribs, neck, and shoulders. In women, the pain starts a bit differently. It usually starts off in the neck.

Fatigue is another common symptom of spondylitis, and arises from the constant inflammation of the joints between the lumbar vertebrae. Other symptoms include bowel infections that may be mistaken for ulcerative colitis, and this condition can also present with infections of eye.

As the disease progresses, lack of movement in the spine and spinal fusion are seen. The pain becomes worse, and sometimes surgery is the only treatment that can help ease the low back pain as a symptom of spondylitis.

At a Glance: Alleviating Lumbar Spine Pain from Spondylitis

  • Talk to your doctor about taking an NSAID medication to help fight inflammation
  • Use hot/cold compresses as instructed to reduce inflammation
  • Physical therapy may help people with spondylitis
  • Consult a physician as spondylitis could be a symptom of another condition in the spine

Causes of Spondylitis

  • Spinal arthritis/osteoarthritis
  • Spinal infection
  • Injury to spine

Health Tips

  • Always eat breakfast
  • Eat your fruit and veg
  • Take time to shop each week
  • Sit down at the table to eat
  • Get adequate rest daily.

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