Four tips from a physical therapist for living with arthritis in the back

Living With Arthritis in the Back

Arthritis in the back, also known as spinal arthritis, can make life difficult for so many reasons. In addition to localized aches and stiffness, the inflammation of spinal facet joints and development of bone spurs can cause nerve compression that leads to debilitating and painful radiating symptoms. Although these symptoms can be difficult to live with and can affect your ability to perform daily activities, it’s important to keep a positive mindset. 

While arthritis in the back is not a reversible condition, patients who have been diagnosed with this condition can still learn to manage it. One great form of treatment for people living with arthritis of the back is physical therapy. By working with an experienced and licensed therapist, spinal arthritis sufferers can receive care that helps them improve function, relieve pain and increase mobility. 

Practical treatment advice for patients with arthritis in the back

Here are some frequent tips and recommendations that patients seeing a physical therapist for back pain relief can encounter: 

  1. Stay active — While the symptoms of arthritis may make it feel like exercise is the last thing you want to do, not becoming overly sedentary can be highly beneficial over the long term. Regular activity keeps blood flowing to your back, helps relieve stiffness and can reduce muscle atrophy. 
  2. Strengthen your core — Supporting muscles do so much to relieve pressure on the spine. A strong core helps arthritis by reducing stress on the joints, which can lessen symptoms. 
  3. Improve your posture — Another source of unneeded strain on the spinal joints is slouching and other postural issues. Good posture lengthens the spine, which helps to evenly distribute your weight and take pressure off the joints.
  4. Stay flexible — Regular stretches help mobilize the joints and soft tissue in the spine to help improve mobility and function in the back. 


A physical therapist has the training and experience to help you achieve all of the above in a safe and supervised environment. Therapeutic exercise is extremely important, but it must be done correctly to be fully effective. Physical therapists can also perform passive techniques to help relieve arthritis that cannot be performed alone.

Get expert treatment for arthritis in the back 

At Whatcom Physical Therapy, our caring and dedicated team has decades of combined experience in helping patients successfully live with arthritis in the back. This condition does not have to take you out of your life. With personalized care and guidance, we can help you achieve your treatment goals and find long-term relief. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your initial appointment with one of our friendly representatives.