Q:

How can you relieve arthritis in your back?

A:

Quick Answer

Using nonprescription oral medications and topical analgesics can help to alleviate arthritis pain in the back. Lifestyle changes are also helpful. If these measures are not enough to relieve the pain, Mayo Clinic suggests seeing a doctor.

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Full Answer

When using medication for arthritis pain, Mayo Clinic warns patients of the dangers of overtreatment and undertreatment. Taking too many over-the-counter medications for arthritis pain increases the risks of undesirable side effects. Prescription medication often gives better relief while reducing the risks. Undertreatment of the pain allows the joint inflammation to do further damage.

Lifestyle changes, including losing weight, stopping smoking and increasing exercise, are helpful in decreasing arthritis pain in the back. Excess body weight adds to the stress of inflamed joints. Weight loss reduces this stress and helps many who experience arthritis pain to feel better. WebMD recommends a gentle exercise program that avoids repetitive motion for back pain sufferers.

Smoking adds to the strain on the spine, according to Mayo Clinic. Smokers often use tobacco as a coping mechanism for their pain; however, this use is counterproductive. Toxins in tobacco smoke cause further damage to the connective tissues. Negative attitudes about back pain cause it to increase, according to Mayo Clinic, so arthritis sufferers should focus on the positive to decrease their pain and chances of arthritis causing a disability.

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