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Osteoarthritis – Back

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. In the back it is often called Spondylosis. The cartilage discs between the bones (vertebrae) become thinner which causes the spaces between the bones to narrow. Bony spurs or osteophytes can develop.


Osteoarthritis affects 8.5 million people in the UK. It develops over time, causing joints to become stiff, painful and sometimes swollen. Pain, stiffness or a lack of mobility in the back can occur. Pain may be directly in the area affected but symptoms can occur elsewhere due to nerve impingement (pinching) e.g. in the leg and this is known as referred pain.


Though the degenerative changes cannot be reversed, there are Orthoses which can help reduce the severity of the symptoms. These include:

  • Shock absorbing insoles, Functional Foot Orthotics to control excess pronation which may be increasing back pain
  • Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (LSO) or Thoraco Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (TLSO) for circumferential compression and to provide a postural prompt or Raised shoe adaptation where a leg length discrepancy may be exacerbating the back pain