What are the symptoms of spinal arthritis?

Spinal arthritis symptoms vary depending on the location of the spine that’s showing signs of arthritis, as well as your lifestyle and general health. Spinal arthritis can conceivably occur anywhere in the spine but is most common in the neck and lower back. The affected location of the spine usually determines the nature of the symptoms.

Cervical spinal arthritis occurs in the upper portion of the spine; its main symptoms include pain and stiffness in the neck. In more advanced cases, a patient may feel pain, numbness and muscle weakness in the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. Lumbar spinal arthritis affects the lower region of the spine, so it can cause lower back stiffness and aching, weakness or numbness of the legs, as well as shooting pains in the lower back, buttocks and pelvic area.

Spinal arthritis symptoms

Spinal arthritis symptoms are often at their worst first thing in the morning and after any extended period of activity. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Tenderness and numbness in the neck
  • Swelling and stiffness in the joints
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty bending
  • A crunching sensation in the spine

Treating spinal arthritis

Spinal arthritis is problematic because it can limit your ability to work, travel and enjoy leisure time. Fortunately, numerous effective treatment options are available for you to try and regain your quality of life. Most patients benefit from conservative treatments like exercise, rest, medication or chiropractic care. Consult your physician and together develop a personalized treatment plan. However, if you already experience severe spinal arthritis symptoms or are not responsive to nonsurgical treatment methods, surgery might be the best option.

Due to advancements in spine surgery, an invasive, traditional open spine surgery is no longer the sole surgical option to treat spinal arthritis. At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures and offers many benefits, including less risk of infection and no lengthy recovery.^ For more information on how Laser Spine Institute can help you find relief from chronic neck and back pain, contact us today. We can also conduct a free MRI review* to determine whether you may be a candidate for our procedures.