We all have this long chain of bones in the back side of our body starting from the back of the neck and ending just above the buttocks and which is called the vertebral column or spinal cord. The lumbar region is the lower portion of this column which bears the maximum weight of the body and is the most flexible part of our body. Due to constant movement and pressure this part of the body is more prone to pains and injuries. Any degeneration or damage to the bones and joints in this region and the resultant discomfort is known as Lumbar Spondylitis.
The most probable causes of Lumbar Spondylitis are:
- Age: With increasing age the quality of bones and joints is affected resulting in pain and less mobility
- Heredity: Family history and genes play an important part in the passing on of this condition
- Posture : Wrong posture or sitting in one place for longer periods of time may result in this condition
- Injuries: Irrespective of other factors constant injuries and falls may cause pain and reduce immobility thus leading to Lumbar Spondylitis
- Obesity: Being overweight increases the pressure on the spinal cord thus resulting in damage to the lumbar area
The most common symptom of Lumbar Spondylitis is pain.
Other signs and symptoms include:
Tingling, Numbness, Weakness, Reduced Mobility which radiates from the lower back and travels to the hips, buttocks and to the toes. The symptoms may be more pronounced after some work, or in the morning and sometimes in the night.
The condition of Lumbar Spondylitis though characterized by degeneration of bones and joints also includes the narrowing of the vertebral column, weakening of ligaments and reduction of the mucous like material between the joints and most of the times it can be identified as spinal arthritis. This condition is also accompanied by protrusion of the spinal/vertebral discs which causes compression of the nerves thus leading to pain in the back.
The doctor will ascertain Lumbar Spondylitis depending upon your symptoms and by asking you questions about:
- Family history, genetics, heredity
- Any past injuries, falls and accidents
- Severity and occurrence of pain
- Checking of reflexes to evaluate any damage to the nerves
- Imaging tests like X-Rays, CT Scan, MRI will reveal any spurs, narrowing of spinal column and degeneration of soft spinal tissues respectively
Once it is ascertained that the condition is Spondylitis, then your doctor may recommend conservative treatments like pain medication, non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and physical therapies like hot and cold therapy. If any of these methods fail to provide relief then an Orthopaedic Surgeon needs to be consulted. Advanced medical research has made way for better techniques which involve minimum invasion and show better results.
One cannot prevent Lumbar Spondylitis, as it is normally associated with age but you can delay the same by leading a healthy lifestyle which includes plenty of mild exercises, maintaining good posture and eating a well balanced diet full of Vitamin D and Calcium which is essential for healthy bones. Men and Women are like likely to be affected; hence everyone should take good care of themselves.
This is not a fatal condition, only it affects the mobility and causes pain and discomfort so maintaining a healthy lifestyle will minimize the damage to the bones and joints.