If you suffer from arthritis-related back pain, your doctor may encourage you to consider orthotics. Back braces, shoe inserts, and neck collars have been shown to successfully alleviate this type of pain.
Because arthritis causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, it can often affect the spine. While arthritis can affect any part of your back, most patients notice lower back pain because this part of the spine bears the most body weight. While discussing possible treatments with your doctor, you should ask about orthotics for your arthritis and back pain. These medical devices offer the support your body needs to alleviate your back pain and help you enjoy the activities that may have been difficult with arthritis. The following information will explain what types of arthritis can cause back pain and suggest some of the orthotics that are available in Arkansas.
Arthritis and Back Pain
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are specific types of arthritis that primarily affect the spine and cause back pain. These conditions, which are known as spondyloarthropathies, include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Reactive arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Juvenile spondyloarthropathy
- Enteropathic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Infectious arthritis
- Spinal stenosis
- Paget’s disease of bone
If you suffer from a form of arthritis that causes lower back pain, an Arkansas orthotist can suggest a brace or insert that is specially designed to treat your condition.
A corset brace is often prescribed to take pressure off the spine when arthritis pain makes movement difficult. These soft orthotics are designed to reduce pressure on sensitive joints in the spinal area and move the pressure toward the abdomen. These braces also limit the kind of motions that aggravate lower back pain from arthritis, but they are not as restrictive as rigid braces.
Corset braces are ideal for people suffering from varying types of back pain from arthritis because they feature adjustable straps. Your specialist can recommend adjustments to the soft corset to better accommodate the specific parts of your spine that are affected by arthritis. This, in turn, allows you to find a custom configuration that offers comfort. Unless you are in constant pain, wearing a lower back brace at all times of the day is generally not recommended. Instead, put it on before you do activities that tend to trigger pain, such as driving or performing household chores.
Foot orthotics are often overlooked by people who have been diagnosed with arthritis-linked back pain because the link between the feet and back is not obvious. The way your feet strike the ground as you walk can affect the alignment of your lower body, and certain angles can aggravate the pain caused by your arthritis. Shoe inserts can help correct your gait, alleviating stress on your back.
A recent study found that patients suffering from chronic types of lower back pain, including arthritis, managed their symptoms with shoe inserts when used in conjunction with other arthritis treatments. Because people have unique foot structures and back issues, it is best to have an orthotics specialist in Arkansas determine exactly what kind of insert you need.
For some people, arthritis aggravates the top of the spine. Pain in your upper back and neck can be caused by bone spurs related to your arthritis or swollen joints themselves. In these situations, a neck collar may be more helpful than a lower back brace. A neck collar limits motion of this vulnerable part of your upper spine, which allows the surrounding muscles to rest. Typically, the orthotics for arthritis in this region of the spine are soft and secured to the body by Velcro. As with other forms of bracing for arthritis, it is best not to wear a neck brace all day so that your muscles do not become dependent on the brace for support.
If you are interested in orthotics for arthritis and back pain in Arkansas, contact Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics today at 501-683-8889 to set up an appointment with one of our certified clinicians.