Arthritis can affect your back, most commonly in the lower neck and back. Pain and stiffness are the main symptoms, although the exact cause may not be known. If you suffer from arthritis in your back, it may be difficult to decide when to seek treatment. Keep reading for some clarification.
Spinal Arthritis And Its Causes
Spinal arthritis is an inflammation of the facet joints in our spine or sacroiliac joints located between the spine and the pelvis. Unfortunately, this condition can become chronic.
The cause is primarily unknown, but osteoarthritis due to wear and tear seems to be a common culprit. There is some evidence that it is hereditary. Autoimmune triggers may also be a contributing factor.
Risk factors for developing spinal arthritis include the following:
- Your age
- Certain conditions like diabetes, psoriasis, TB, gout, irritable bowel syndrome, and Lyme disease
- A past back injury
Types Of Spinal Arthritis
With this condition, the body’s immune system attacks the membranes (synovium) that line our joints and are filled with fluid. The destruction of the synovium leads to the upper vertebrae to slip over the bottom one. This is known as spondylolisthesis which is a very painful condition putting pressure on the nerve roots at the base of the spine.
Spinal Stenosis Or “Spinal Narrowing”
This condition develops when boney spurs occur and ligaments thicken which narrows the spinal canal. It results in a compression of the nerves in the spine.
This condition affects joints near the pelvis and hip, and the pain is felt in the lower back. It can result in fusion of joints, stiffness, spurs, and bony outgrowths.
This is the most common form of arthritis. Here, the cartilage degenerates causing bones to rub together. This friction results in pain and swelling. Frequently, bone spurs develop that press on surrounding nerves. If this occurs, spinal stenosis can be the result.
When To Seek Treatment
There are many treatments short of surgery if you are suffering from spinal arthritis.
If you are finding it difficult to straighten your back and turn your neck, you should consider treatment.
In addition, swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae is a sign to see Greater Rochester Orthopaedics. If you have a grinding feeling when you move, weakness in your body, numbness in your arms and legs, and headaches from neck arthritis, seek treatment.
Contact Greater Rochester Orthopaedics for an evaluation and treatment recommendations for spinal arthritis.
To schedule an appointment, please call (585) 295-5476 or request an appointment online today.