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Spinal Osteoarthritis



As many of you may or may not the spine may develop many different types of arthritis. We determine it by the symptoms, family medical history, age, gender and other signs. Depending on what type of spine


arthritis it is, a plan of care is created to avoid contraindications, unnecessary flare ups, and manage the course of the pathology.

Today, we are talking about osteoarthritis of the spine. Or in more general terms, wear and tear. It usually occurs in the lower back but it can occur anywhere depending on the history of the patient such as multiple car accidents, repetitive trauma to the thoracic region, landing in your buttock


s, etc. It is just like using a tool from your garage, if you use it for what it is supposed to do, how you are supposed to and give it proper maintenance, the wear and tear will be much less. Do the contrary, the opposite will be true. Keeping this analogy in mind, know that the joints in your spine much like other joints in your body need movement to get the nutrients they need since they lack appropriate blood supply. Hence, exercises such as thread the needle, cat cow and child’s pose provide multiple planes of movement for the spine.

Keep in mind that your spine is the center of your body, the main axel. Deficiencies or impairments in other parts of your body will affect the movement of the spine; hence, having above or normal ROM of the hips, knees, ankle and shoulders is paramount to having a healthy spine.


There is one more piece of information: proper use of the back. Aggressive and repetitive activities such as repetitive body slamming such as in martial arts, tackling in football, constant heavy loading of the spine such as in construction or heavy lifting will cause deterioration or wear and tear much faster. Activities such as these may be done on occasion without much damage. Proper body mechanics or the way you move during certain activity also avoid injuries due to wear and tear. Hence, proper muscle activation and strength will also come in handy.

For example, a healthy spine is more than capable of bending to pick up a piece of paper from the ground. It can do the same to pick up a 50lb bag but it shouldn’t. Bending over to pick such a heavy bag will place unnecessary stress on the discs of the spine. In this case a proper squat or dead-lift maneuver is required to protect the spine. To perform this movement, appropriate flexibility of the hips as well as strength of the CORE, gluteal muscles and quadriceps muscles are required to be able to move the body appropriately to avoid excessive wear and tear of the spine.

There are many other activities that can be explained or you may need help with. If you find yourself looking for answers, get evaluated by a Physical Therapist. We are movement specialists, and yes that includes the back. Click here to contact us and request a free screen.


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Dr. Santiago Osorio