Arthritis in the lower spine is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Mainly affecting older patients, arthritis in the lower spine is more frequently diagnosed in women than in men.
Spinal arthritis sufferers typically experience persistent joint stiffness, limited range of motion and localized pain. Also known as lumbosacral arthritis, it is a leading cause of disc degeneration and may produce symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar region, is a common cause of sciatica. Degeneration of the vertebral discs or cartilage of the facet joints may irritate or compress the collection of spinal nerves contributing to the large sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs across the buttocks toward the hip and then down the back of the leg. In addition to tenderness in the area of degeneration, a sciatica patient might experience weakness, numbness, tingling or a burning sensation in the buttocks or legs.
Lumbar spinal arthritis has no cure, but symptoms generally can be managed through non-surgical or conservative treatments. For example, to help support the lumbar spine during daily activity, your physician may suggest you wear a brace. Other conservative treatment options for the symptoms of arthritis in the lower spine include:
- Weight loss
- Chiropractic therapy
If conservative treatment fails to alleviate chronic lower back pain, your physician may suggest surgery. The award-winning doctors at Laser Spine Institute (LSI) treat the symptoms of lower spine arthritis using minimally invasive, outpatient procedures. Contact the medical professionals at LSI for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan and to learn more about how our innovative endoscopic techniques may help you rediscover a more active lifestyle.