Lumbar arthritis


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and stiffness in your joints. It usually starts around your hips and knees and can affect any part of your body.

In some cases, lumbar arthritis may occur when there is damage to the discs between your vertebrae. This type of arthritis is often caused by injury or trauma to the back.

Lumbar arthritis is a symptom of arthritis that affects the spine. The most common cause is osteoarthritis.

Also known as spinal arthritis, it is the result of degeneration due to osteoarthritis and inflammation of the joints below the lumbar spine.

The disease develops gradually and is often associated with degeneration of the vertebrae in the elderly.

Osteoarthritis is considered a normal part of aging, but the pain and stiffness of low back arthritis can limit a persons’ ability to perform simpler tasks, especially those that require bending and stretching. .

Lower back arthritis pain results from movement and inactivity.

It may get worse after standing for long periods of time. Leaning to the side or backwards can also cause pain.

The pain may begin in the lower back and spread to the pelvic region or the sides of the buttocks. The pain can also spread to the thighs, but it rarely extends to the knees.

Lumbar arthritis can also cause muscle spasms, cracking joints, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion in the lower back.

Symptoms are usually slow to develop and not noticeable at first. However, any rapid movement, twisting, or backward movement in the lower back can cause injury to the lumbar region and symptoms to appear in people with this condition.

Causes and risk factors

Lumbar arthritis results from specific arthritic conditions. The most common cause of lumbar arthritis symptoms is osteoarthritis, but other types are sometimes involved.


Ongoing damage from osteoarthritis in the facet joints of the spine eventually causes these joints to wear and tear. As a result, the bones of the spine begin to wear down.

Osteoarthritis can result from external factors, including poor diet, being overweight, and genetics.

Psoriatic arthritis (PSA)

Lumbar arthritis has also been linked to psoriatic arthritis. Typically, PsA affects people with psoriasis, but the disease appears on its own in some cases.

Low back pain is a symptom of PSA. Up to 20 percent of people with this condition have spinal involvement. 


This type of arthritis mainly affects the spine and sacroiliac joints and often affects young adults, teenagers or children. 

Spondyloarthritis is also associated with inflammation of tendons and ligaments.

Enteropathic arthritis

Enteropathic arthritis affects people with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In enteropathic arthritis, the sacroiliac joints are affected, causing lower back pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect various joints in the body, including the facet joints of the spine, causing pain. It can also destroy the joints of the spine that it affects.


Osteoporosis causes loss of bone mass. It is mainly due to aging. When it affects the spine, the outer parts of the vertebrae become weak and painful over time. 

Diagnosis of lumbar arthritis

Doctors usually diagnose low back arthritis with a physical exam. They may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays, if needed.

A doctor will inquire about the patient’s symptoms, pain profile, and range of motion in the lower back.


Treatment for lumbar arthritis includes:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • lifestyle changes
  • alternative therapies
  • prescription drugs
  • surgery

If standard medication does not work, doctors may prescribe stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if needed.

Certain lifestyle changes can keep pressure off the spine and improve a person’s quality of life. Lifestyle changes to relieve symptoms of lower back arthritis include:

  • weightloss
  • healthy diet, including foods that reduce inflammation
  • do not drink alcohol in excess
  • exercise, especially water aerobics and abdominal strengthening

Quick relief therapies for lumbar arthritis include hot and cold compresses to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.

Prevention of lumbar arthritis

Certain precautions taken to prevent back pain can also help prevent lumbar arthritis.

These include:

  • reduce the risk of injury by lifting the load correctly.
  • practice good posture
  • exercise regularly
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • eat a healthy diet
  • wear appropriate shoes, as some shoes can disrupt posture and cause long-term problems
  • stop smoking