Lumbar arthritis, also referred to as spinal arthritis or osteoarthritis, is a fairly common spine issue, most often associated with aging and commonly diagnosed in individuals over 50 years of age. Some people with lumbar arthritis will suffer from a lot of pain while, for others, pain will be minimal. The disorder affects everyone differently but, chances are, if an osteoarthritis patient is coming to you for treatment, they are dealing with a least some discomfort.
Often, you can encourage lumbar arthritis sufferers to make some important lifestyle changes to prompt improvement. This requires a frank chat with your patient about such issues as weight loss, an increase in exercise, and smoking cessation. Most arthritis victims probably realize that these are important to pain reduction and just need some encouragement to get the ball rolling. That encouragement can come from you!
Of course, osteoarthritis may be associated with degenerative disc disease as well. As a matter of fact, these two conditions often occur hand-in-hand. That’s because degenerating discs cause stress on the facet joints, eventually leading to arthritis in those joints. However, they remain two separate conditions and one can indeed be present without the other.
Sound complicated? Maybe not to you, but it’s probably tough for your patients to understand the ins and outs of lumbar arthritis and why it has occurred in their body. Hence, it’s your job as the spine specialist to explain the condition in a way that is easy for your patient to understand and in a manner that helps them to do what it takes to relieve their pain.
What you need is a detailed model of the spine…something better than the posters you may have used for years. It’s okay to keep those drawings on your walls in your exam rooms and to refer to them at times, but the best way to answer the patient’s questions and to explain their condition is with a fully-dynamic 3D spine model like the ones manufactured by Dynamic Disc Designs (DDD).
Chances are you’ll want to recommend to these osteoarthritis patients some sort of program that includes physical activity with stretching exercises, but you’ll need to explain why those are important. With a DDD model you can manipulate and with which you can demonstrate the specifics of lumbar arthritis and how it affects the spine, patients will better understand their condition and what they need to do to lessen their pain.
The models created by Dr. Jerome Fryer of Dynamic Disc Designs are certainly one-of-a-kind. These lumbar and cervical models have gained many kudos from chiropractors, spine surgeons, osteopaths, physiotherapists, and other spine specialists around the world, primarily because they assist both patients and students of the spine in understanding the intricacies of that part of the body. A better understanding means more compliance with treatment recommendations and, as such, a quicker reduction in pain.
“This is the best model lumbar spine I have seen. I am proud to possess one. It will be of great value when explaining to my patients as well as in my research…”
– Francis W. Smith, Clinical Professor of Radiology, Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, Scotland.