Arthritis is one of the chronic joint diseases. It is also called as degenerative joint disease. In this type of joint disease, the protective cartilage of the bones wears out and degenerates over time. This condition causes pain and swelling. It may also lead to the development of bone spurs or osteophytes.
Arthritis can be of many types depending upon the region of the body (joints, muscles, and/or bones) it is affecting or generating. However, one of the most painful and chronic types of Arthritis is Spinal Arthritis or Arthritis of the spine. It is an inflammatory disease that affects the spine including the hip joint and near the pelvis joint, sacroiliac joints. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the back. The inflammation in the Spinal Arthritis also leads to weakness and pain in the legs and arms.
Who is Prone to Spinal Arthritis?
Generally, Spinal Arthritis happens to the people who get older. However, younger people may get due to the following causes:
Any Trauma injury to a hip joint, lower back, or discs in the neck can lead to Spinal Arthritis
Genetic Defect that affects cartilage also leads to Spinal Arthritis.
It usually occurs below the age of 45 in men and above the age of 45 in women.
Spinal Arthritis may happen to people who are obese, or overweight. It may also occur in people who play sports or involves in the activities that put stress on the joints repetitively.
Symptoms of Spinal Arthritis
Some of the common symptoms of Spinal Arthritis are:
Stiffness in the back or neck
Pain in the back or neck
Numbness in the arms or legs
Back discomfort while sleeping or sitting
People may also experience hindrances in performing their daily activities. In some cases, people may become severely disabled.
Apart from the physical effects, people may also experience emotional and social problems. People who are not able to perform their daily activities may feel helpless or depressed
X-Ray is one of the best ways to confirm a diagnosis of Spinal Arthritis. The doctor may ask about the medical history of the patient and perform physical tests to check the tenderness, pain, loss of motion of the lower back or neck, or any other symptoms including reflex changes, weakness, loss of sensation, etc.
The doctor may perform the following tests to aid in the diagnosis of Spinal Arthritis:
X-rays to look for bone spurs, bone damage, and loss of disc or cartilage.
Blood tests to look for other diseases
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for damage to discs or cartilage.
Treatment of Spinal Arthritis
In general, the treatment of Spinal Arthritis is done to relieve and limiting the symptoms of swelling and pain to help a person to gain his/her ability in performing daily tasks and activities without any interference. The aim of the treatment is to provide a healthy lifestyle for a person.
If the condition is not severe, the treatment includes losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. The treatment may also include exercises to help a person performs daily tasks easily, improves mood and attitude, improves blood flow, increases flexibility, strengthens the heart, etc.
Exercise that may help in the treatment of Spinal Arthritis are:
Exercise with rubber bands or weights
Apart from all these exercises, one needs to take proper rest and medication prescribed by the doctor. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and consuming a balanced diet will help in the recovery process. In most of the cases, Spinal Arthritis can be treated without surgery. However, in the server case, people may require surgery where the disc and cartilage are completely damaged.