Arthritis of the spine causes include genetic and inherited factors

When people develop arthritis in the spine, it is usually designated as osteoarthritis. This condition is characterized by the wearing away of the cartilage on the ends of bones, and it can affect any joint in the body, including those in the spine. While this is primarily an age-related condition, there is evidence that genetic makeup is a major factor in the development of osteoarthritis of the spine.

Family history can be a clue

There’s a reason why physicians often ask patients about their family’s history of disease: it can help them predict the occurrence of some conditions, including osteoarthritis. If a patient has a parent, grandparent or siblings with osteoarthritis, he or she will often develop the condition at some point in his or her life. In fact, studies have shown that such patients are often affected at the same joints as their relatives. It seems that many genes control this predisposition, and they can also control the production of cartilage. Some people have DNA that makes their bodies create less durable cartilage – and it therefore wears away more quickly, speeding the onset of arthritis.

Other risk factors for arthritis of the spine

Genetic disposition doesn’t guarantee that a person will or won’t develop osteoarthritis in the spine, but there is a correlation. The same can be said for other risk factors, such as:

  • Holding an occupation that involves heavy lifting or other repetitive stress. Construction workers, truck drivers and others are disposed to spinal arthritis.
  • Being overweight. Carrying around extra pounds places an additional burden on the spine, causing more wear on the cartilage.
  • Sustaining injuries to the spine. Auto accidents and sports collisions can damage spinal components and increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

If you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the spine, and your conservative treatment plan hasn’t relieved your symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, offering our patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication.^

We’re happy to provide a free MRI review* that can help you determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.