Osteoarthritis and Low Back Pain

Pain in your lower back or knees and hips from osteoarthritis can be debilitating. And when pain strikes, many people reach for medication to manage it. But a recent study in BMJ found that acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol, doesn’t ease low back pain and offers only minor relief for osteoarthritis. So when you are suffering from either of these ailments, consider other treatment options instead.

Lower back painBack Pain
These treatments may lessen your pain:

  • Apply hot or cold packs to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Return to your normal activities as soon as you can. Bed rest can increase your pain, reduce muscle tone, and lead to depression. Add gentle stretches to your daily routine to increase your back’s flexibility.
  • Strengthen your back by doing yoga or exercises recommended by your health care provider or a physical therapist.
  • Take medications. Ones that may help include opioid pain relievers, such as prescription oxycodone (OxyContin), and over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil).
  • Consider acupuncture. Inserting needles into specific points in the body can help provide relief for chronic low back pain.

Osteoarthritis Pain
When it comes to pain caused by arthritis, no treatment is as good as regular exercise.

Some of the best exercise options available for most people include:

  1. Flexibility or range of motion exercises, such as gentle stretching to put your joints through their full range of motion
  2. Aerobic or endurance exercises, such as walking, that increase your stamina and help maintain a healthy weight
  3. Strengthening exercises that increase your muscle tone and strength

Ask your doctor to recommend specific exercises that are right for you.

We want to keep you moving. Find out more about the variety of orthopedic services and treatments available at WCHN: