Arthritis in the lower back, also deemed as osteoarthritis, typically occurs naturally in some people as they age, according to WebMD. Younger people may develop osteoarthritis as a result of a genetic defect within cartilage or injury or trauma to a joint in the spine.
Osteoarthritis of the spine and the lower back may cause pain in the back and stiffness or pain in the neck, according to WebMD. Some people experience numbness or weakness in the arms and legs if the arthritis is severe enough to damage the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Osteoarthritis can cause interference with daily activities and job performance, which can affect the social and emotional well-being of those inflicted.
Arthritis in the lower back is treated with strengthening and range of motion exercises, nutritional supplements and vitamins, massage, acupuncture, and cold or hot compresses applied to the affected joints, reports WebMD. In some cases, physicians may recommend electrical nerve stimulation that emits electrical pulses to affected areas of the lower back.
Treatment typically focuses on increasing flexibility, strengthening the heart, improving blood flow, enhancing attitude and mood, and managing pain, according to WebMD. Patients who are overweight may need help with diet and exercise to relieve the stress excess weight can inflict on the lower back.