Are there exercises to avoid?
I'm 31 years old and have osteoarthritis in my upper spine, starting right between my shoulder blades. I've had it for about 2 years now and was diagnosed a year ago. I don't have a physical therapist and I don't have insurance so I only go to a local health clinic when it's absolutely necessary. I don't take any meds and am kind of on my own to treat it.
I've been doing a lot of reading about osteoarthritis and back pain. Some things I've read say it's good to strengthen the muscles around it and other things have said that while that's true, it's good to avoid some types of exercise like squats because it can cause further damage.
I'd like to exercise more but I do find that some exercises I do hurt a lot and I don't know if I'm doing damage, or if it just hurts. I can tolerate pain to a point but I don't want to make this worse.
Tonight I did squats without weights and now my spine is really hurting me. I also lifted some small weights without doing the squats so maybe that's part of it. At this point I don't know what's okay to do and what's not okay. I saw a neurologist back when I was first getting diagnosed and she said if something hurts, don't do it. Is this true? Or does that just mean it's strengthening it and will get better over time?
I've also done some yoga and that helps, but I want the rest of my body to get exercise too.
Thanks for any opinions and advice, especially if you've had a doctor or physical therapist share with you what to do and what the restrictions are. I'm completely clueless and appreciate any and all help. I don't know what I can do to help myself. I don't have a weight problem so I know losing weight wouldn't be helpful for me.
Thanks again! Best wishes.