Physiotherapy > Conditions
> Spine Pain > Spinal Osteoarthritis Physiotherapy
Spinal Osteoarthritis Physiotherapy
(OA) of the spine is a common painful condition of the back and neck that usually occurs with aging and is
typically diagnosed after age 50.
Its causes include
- injury to the
- wear and tear on the discs of the spine (often associated with
- or an inherited tendency to develop OA
Unfortunately...sometimes the cause of spinal osteoarthritis is
OA of the spine may cause neck pain, back pain and joint stiffness, and make it
difficult to bend over, perform weight-bearing activities, such as
walking, and accomplish daily tasks such as dressing and bathing.
physiotherapists will help you manage your condition, lessen your
discomfort, and get moving again.
Other Arthritis Resources:
What is Osteoarthritis of the Spine?
As we grow older, the intervertebral discs in our spine (gel-filled cushions between the
bones of the spine) can
can put strain on the cartilage, ligaments, and joints at the involved
level of the spine and may result in pain. The narrowing of the disc
also results in narrowing of the space between the spinal joints, called
the "facet" joints.
Weight-bearing forces on the joints increase
because of these disc changes. As a result, the cartilage covering the
joint surface can begin to fray and wear away over time. This wearing
down results in back and neck osteoarthritis (OA).
As OA of the spine progresses, your body will try to repair it by
growing new bone.
This bony growth is called a "bone spur." Bone spur
development can result in a condition known as spinal stenosis. Most
of the time, this painful spine condition affects men and women over 50 years of age.
spurs enlarge, they can create a narrowing of the spaces in the spine and this can involve small or large areas and can result in
pressure on nerves near the involved joints, resulting in symptoms that
- or burning
How Does spinal osteoarthritis Feel?
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the spine vary from patients to patients and can range
from mild to disabling. In some cases, patients may not have symptoms even though the
condition is present. Its onset and progression can be quite slow.
With early or mild disease, symptoms may be intermittent.
feel joint stiffness or aching after sitting a long time, on waking in the
morning, or after vigorous activity. You or your family may notice
changes in your posture.
Some people will bend forward or shift to the
side. With more advanced OA of the spine, symptoms will become more
constant and tend to interfere more with your daily activities,
especially with walking and standing.
Common symptoms of OA of the spine include:
- Back pain and/or neck pain
- Pain that is worse after prolonged inactivity, on getting up in the morning, or after physical activity
- Pain that worsens with standing and walking, and gets better with sitting or lying down
- Spinal joint stiffness after prolonged inactivity, on getting up in the morning, or with movement of the involved area of the spine
- With a more advanced condition, symptoms that do not improve with rest and that interfere with sleep
- Pain, burning, or tingling sensations that spread to the shoulder or arm, or to the buttocks or leg
- Difficulty performing normal daily activities, such as dressing and
bathing, as well as walking and standing, as the condition progresses
How Is It Diagnosed?
Our senior physiotherapists will perform a thorough evaluation and ask
you questions in order to form a clear picture of your individual
These questions may include:
- Your past and current health and use of medication
- How you are functioning in your daily life (You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire.)
- How your symptoms came about
- How long you have had symptoms
- Where the symptoms are located
- How and when pain occurs
We will then conduct a physical examination and may:
- Evaluate your posture and measure the range of motion of your spine
- Assess the movement of the spine and extremities (arms or legs) in the involved area
- Check your nerve function with reflex, sensation, and strength testing
- Observe how you move during commonly performed activities
- Check your balance to determine your risk of falling
The information learned in your evaluation will help ust prescribe a program to ease your discomfort, boost your
quality of life, and get you moving your best.
If we suspects that your pain might be caused by
an underlying condition, he or she may request imaging testing such as
- computed tomography (CT) scans
- and magnetic resonance imaging
from your doctor.
We may also refer you to your
physician for further evaluation. We will work with
your physician to provide the best diagnosis and treatment.
how our senior spinal physiotherapists can help you
We will help you set goals to reduce your
symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. You'll learn how to
safely exercise and continue to participate in your normal daily
We can help with a variety of treatment options, including:
Exercise is the most important treatment
to lessen your pain and improve your mobility. We
will prescribe specific low-impact activities that will strengthen your
spine, abdomen, and hip muscles—to improve your ability to stand, walk,
and balance, and lower your risk of falling.
Caution: Please consult your our senior physitherapists or doctor before starting any exercise program.
We will prescribe specific stretching exercises for your spine, arms, or
legs based on the results of your initial evaluation. Obese individuals
are in special need of stretching and exercises. Combined with
strengthening, stretching physiotherapy exercises may help slow the progression of the disease.
management means learning to feel better and remain active. Sometimes
people are fearful that increased activity will worsen their symptoms or
increase their pain.
We will help you learn how to
be more active without worsening your symptoms. We will help
you find your appropriate activity levels, and develop a unique program
to keep you moving.
Daily activity training.
We can teach you how to get in and out of bed, in and
out of the bathtub, or out of a chair, and how to bend and walk with
Use of modalities
Physitotherapy treatment treatment modalities, such as
may be used to help manage your symptoms.
We may use gentle hands-on techniques (manual therapy) to help
improve your spinal flexibility and ease joint stiffness.
Balance and walking training
Exercises and instruction may be used to safely improve your balance and reduce your risk of falls.
Specialized braces or taping
We may use taping or specialized braces to help support
your joints. Back bracing may be used in more advanced conditions.
If you are obese,
you are likely to have more spinal impairment in your upper back. Our senior physiotherapists can help you improve your activity levels, and refer
you to our in-house nutritional experts.
All cases of spinal osteoarthritis are different. We
will choose the best treatment options for you based on their evaluation
of your specific problem.
The predominant treatment for osteoarthritis of the spine is nonsurgical.
That being said, symptoms that interfere with bowel or bladder function and
cause problems with the nervous system may require immediate treatment and even spinal surgery.
Immediately after surgery, our senior physiotherapists will visit
you in the
hospital to help you get out of bed and walk, and possibly use a cane
or walker for safety. When adequate healing has occurred, you will be
sent for outpatient physical therapy in our physio clinic to
- continue to improve your
- and to provide you with an exercise program to safely improve
your specific condition.
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(or check your pains / injuries)
Phoenix Rehab Physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
See all the conditions our principal physiotherapists treat.
HAND THERAPY & CUSTOMIZED SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to
- manage and decrease hand pains
- improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
- increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
REFORMER CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
- Cupping TCM
- Auricular Therapy TCM
- Herbal TCM Medicine & Supplementation
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and shorten downtime / recovery period required.
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.
Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)
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