Causes of spine arthritis
The spine is meant to support and stabilize the majority of the body’s weight. Over time, as the body increases in weight and repeats the same movements, the vertebrae and joints in the spine begin to wear down. The added weight compresses the vertebrae and can cause them to impact each other, creating tension and abrasion during movement. This can lead to the gradual deterioration of the joints in between the vertebrae. This process of deteriorating bone and joint in the spine is spinal arthritis and can lead to the development of other degenerative spine conditions.
The other main cause of spinal arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This is an internal condition that can manifest in the spine and other areas of the body. Patients with spinal arthritis caused by RA may need to consult their physician about special treatments to help reduce the pain and symptoms in the spine.
Spinal arthritis caused by rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease of connective tissue. It affects synovial lining, the thin membrane that covers inside of the joint and cartilage. RA causes white blood cells to turn against this membrane. This causes inflammation and destruction of the joint surfaces. This misdirected immune response can lead to whole-body fatigue and fevers.
The exact cause of RA is unknown. Some researchers believe viral or bacterial infections could trigger its onset. Some genetic markers (genes) are known to be associated with RA. RA usually appears in middle-aged individuals and is more common in women than men.
Risk factors for spinal arthritis
While spinal arthritis is a common development later in life, there are several factors that can increase a patient’s risk of developing the condition, such as:
- Age — Osteoarthritis cases usually appear around age 45.
- Gender — Women are twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis.
- Injury — Osteoarthritis can result from injuries sustained from accidents and sports- or work-related injuries.
- Heredity — It is possible to inherit joint deformity and defective cartilage.
- Obesity — Excessive weight causes stress to the joints.
Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cause pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness of the joints. These symptoms can cause you to experience chronic pain and ultimately a decline in your quality of life.
Many patients with spinal arthritis can find lasting relief through conservative methods of treatment, such as yoga and physical therapy, which aim to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine to help support the body weight and relieve pressure on the vertebrae in the spine. Consult your physician about a physical therapy routine that will help you find relief.
Next steps to find relief from spinal arthritis
If conservative treatment has failed, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures can help you regain a more active lifestyle. To date, our procedures have helped more than 60,000 people across the nation find relief from neck and back pain. We encourage you to read their real patient stories to learn more about how you can find relief from spinal arthritis with our minimally invasive spine surgery.
Visit our page on treatment for arthritis of the spine to read more about our streamlined patient experience.