Faith from Calgary asks: Can osteoarthritis in the back hurt? Do rheumatologists treat osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, regardless of its location, certainly can cause pain. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but treatment options do exist which revolve around pain control and improved function. For osteoarthritis of the back, we always need to be careful to ensure it is truly degenerative arthritis causing the pain, as x-rays of the back which show osteoarthritis do not necessarily mean that’s the cause of back pain. One of the best treatment options for back pain is physiotherapy, with an emphasis on exercises related to strengthening, stretching, range of motion and core abdominal muscles. While those with back pain need to do these exercises regularly to have benefit, they can improve pain significantly, and can all be done from home without needing regular physiotherapy appointments.
Rheumatologists do see patients at times with osteoarthritis, often for one appointment for a full assessment and provide advice to the patient and the referring physician.
Posted: March 10, 2016