Arthritis of the spine symptoms and causes

Symptoms and causes of arthritis of the spine can vary depending on what type of arthritis a person has, but spinal arthritis generally involves pain or discomfort caused by the deterioration of the spine’s joints. When the spine’s joints begin to wear down, a person can experience a myriad of symptoms that range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating.

Arthritis of the spine symptoms

When a person is developing arthritis of the spine, specifically osteoarthritis of the spine, he or she may notice some uncomfortable symptoms that result from the joints’ cartilage breaking down and soft tissues in his or her back becoming inflamed. The symptoms can include:

  • Stiff neck or back
  • A mild backache
  • Difficulty bending at the waist
  • A warm sensation in the neck or lower back

Sometimes, the deteriorating spinal components can cause the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root to become compressed. When this happens, a person can experience a number of symptoms in the extremities, like pain, muscle weakness, tingling, a burning sensation or numbness. Symptoms can occur in one body part or travel the length of the nerve all the way into the fingers or toes.

Arthritis of the spine causes

Osteoarthritis of the spine is usually caused by the natural deterioration of the spine, which happens to many people as they age. However, aging isn’t the sole cause of the condition, and certain lifestyle factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing it. If you are overweight, participate in high-impact sports or have a job that requires you to frequently bend, twist and lift, your spine could be placed under excessive pressure, which can cause its joints to wear down faster. If you’re sedentary and your core muscles aren’t very strong, your spine is left with most of the burden of supporting your body weight, which can lead to spinal osteoarthritis.

Most cases of arthritis of the spine can be significantly improved with lifestyle changes and a regimen of conservative (nonsurgical) treatments. However, if you’ve exhausted all of your options, and nothing has alleviated your symptoms enough for you to return to your normal activities, surgery may be an option. Whenever possible, it’s best to opt for minimally invasive surgery, like the kind offered at Laser Spine Institute, as it requires a much smaller incision than traditional open back surgery and causes less damage to the back muscles.

To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient surgery at Laser Spine Institute, call us today for a no-cost MRI review.* We’ve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain and we have a patient recommendation score of 98 out of 100.^