What are the symptoms of arthritis of the spine?

Arthritis of the spine is a condition that causes the discs in the spine to narrow and bone spurs to come out from the disc becoming worn out over time. Understanding the cause of this condition may help to accurately predict symptoms and also help you to describe your symptoms to your doctor, allowing him or her to arrive at the correct diagnosis. To learn more about the anatomy of arthritis of the spine, as well as symptoms and treatment options for this condition, read the following article.

The anatomy and symptoms of arthritis of the spine

Most arthritis of the spine is spinal osteoarthritis — a degenerative condition that affects the facet joints. Facet joints are joints located on each side of the vertebral canal, two per vertebra. Facet joints are sliding joints, which allow flexion and extension, but prevent most rotation of the spinal column. The articular surfaces of these joint are covered with a slippery cartilage, which allows effortless motion. Arthritis causes the cartilage to become rough and degenerate, making movement uncomfortable. Aging, genetics, obesity and gender can all play a role in the development of spinal arthritis, and may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Joint stiffness or spontaneous joint lockage
  • Pinched nerves
  • Joint inflammation
  • Localized pain or throbbing when the joint remains stationary
  • Radiating pain that begins in the back and moves through the extremities when joint enlargement or bone spurs develop
  • Bone-on-bone contact
  • Numbness or tingling if joint nerves become compressed

Arthritis of the spine treatment options

While there is no cure or treatment that can stop the progression of arthritis of the spine, most patients are able to manage their discomfort nonsurgically with the help of a conservative treatment regimen. Your doctor may suggest therapies such as hot and cold compresses, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), intermittent rest and behavior modification to help relieve your discomfort.

If several weeks or months of these treatments fail to offer you lasting pain relief, contact Laser Spine Institute. We have a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures that offer a safer and effective alternative to the risks and lengthy recuperation^ of an open spine surgery. Our techniques have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain without undergoing open spine surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, our highly skilled surgeons use a small incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order to ease the debilitating symptoms associated with arthritis of the spine and get the patient back on their feet. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a no-cost MRI review.*