What can I do about arthritis in neck and lower back?

Posted by trellg132 @trellg132, Aug 16, 2019

What to do about this

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@bobwhitecoldsnow

First, let me say that I do not have pain in my neck, but my neck creaks and pops as I have been diagnosed with arthritis in the neck vertebrae.
My doctor says I just have to live with it, but I am not taking no for an answer as I want to find a way to stop the creaking and popping. I try not moving my neck, I move my body and my eyes but not the neck. Now, can anyone suggest a method to solve this problem? Here is an idea: what if one were to take articular cartilage out of a good joint and inject it into the neck vertebrae, would that work. Thank you for any information.

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Bobwhite, you don't have to accept the idea of just living with arthritis without some treatment.
I know nothing about your injection idea but do approve of treatments like massage, gentle exercise such as stretching and an anti-inflammatory diet which would be helpful, but realizing that it is no total cure for pain. Some prescriptions help with relieving pain, however keeping active and moving each day is essential for living with the progressive disease. I elected for fusion surgery after years of arthritis in my knees, neck and spine. Some surgery was more successful than others for reducing pain. For the neck, exercises were most helpful to begin with, but am now 86 years old and the degeneration continues. I eat a healthy diet, however and lost some weight which is essential for pain management.
Not moving the neck will result in a "frozen" condition which is horrible to live with. You want movement treatment and advice. I use heat but some doctors use ice for pain. It is your choice for what works for you. Keep moving and seek a massage therapist to begin.

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Hi, I also have arthritis in my neck and my Dr sent me for an MRI-that confirmed it. She then sent me to Physical Therapy and I learned to 'lower my shoulders and tilt my head- slowly- to the left and slowly bring it back up. I do that 3 times or more a day. It helps me.
Keep in touch,
Joan

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@bobwhitecoldsnow

First, let me say that I do not have pain in my neck, but my neck creaks and pops as I have been diagnosed with arthritis in the neck vertebrae.
My doctor says I just have to live with it, but I am not taking no for an answer as I want to find a way to stop the creaking and popping. I try not moving my neck, I move my body and my eyes but not the neck. Now, can anyone suggest a method to solve this problem? Here is an idea: what if one were to take articular cartilage out of a good joint and inject it into the neck vertebrae, would that work. Thank you for any information.

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@bobwhitecoldsnow Oh do I wish things could be that easy. Forming cartilage is a complex process and not something that a full grown adult can do because of the way that biology designs our development. One of the big problems is that after the cartilage in your spinal facet joints and spinal discs forms, it doesn't have a blood supply of it's own in which to receive nutrients and higher levels of oxygen needed for healing. Actually as you age, your discs start to dry out and shrink as normal aging. When a problem is added to that like damage from an accident or an alignment problem that puts abnormal wear and tear on a joint, it can become inflamed or arthritic. There are medical researchers working in regenerative medicine trying to solve problems like that.

What can happen as discs loose height, it that there is more pressure on the facet joints. That can cause clicks and pops when you move. If that gets painful, it would be worth seeing a doctor about it and perhaps physical therapy can help. I have lots of clicks myself, and I am a spine surgery patient. I had a bulging disc in my neck for several years before it ruptured, and I used to hear it rubbing when I turned my head. I now have a fused C5/C6 level which does put a little bit of extra strain on the joints and levels near it, and I'm not getting younger so I expect this will continue, hopefully without incident as I age further.

What you can do is work with a physical therapist to work on maintaining optimal posture and strength. The bones will go where the muscles tell them, and bad posture can cause issues. The more you can keep the body aligned and moving properly, the better you should feel. My physical therapist also does myofascial release which helps stretch out overly tight tissue and get the body moving properly, and I have benefited a lot from it.

Here is our MFR discussion.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
If you wanted to reduce general body inflammation, you can do that with your diet and eating healthy which can help arthritis. Have you had any imaging such as X-rays or an MRI on your neck? That would be a better way to evaluate for arthritis than pops and clicks. Your doctor may not authorize that unless there is pain or neurological issues that need to be evaluated. Have you had an injury to your neck that may be contributing to arthritis?

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