Spinal Arthritis Overview
Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, including spinal arthritis. Spinal arthritis generally occurs in the facet joints and causes back pain and discomfort. The pain may radiate along affected nerves to other parts of the body, including the buttocks or thighs, in some patients. If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and suffer from spinal arthritis, contact the pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler to discuss your pain management needs.
What are Facet Joints?
Facet joints, otherwise known as vertebral joints, connect the vertebrae together and are located in the back (posterior) portion of the spine. These joints provide movement in the spine, such as bending and twisting. As the spine naturally ages or is put under repetitive stress, the facet joints thicken and harden, commonly leading to spinal arthritis.
The most common form of spinal arthritis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the gradual degeneration of cartilage on the articular surface of the joints.
Who is at Risk of Developing Spinal Arthritis?
Any patient can experience spinal arthritis, but it is most commonly found in patients with certain criteria, including:
- Age- typically over 50 years of age
- Gender- women are at a higher risk
- Obese or over-weight
- Spinal overuse from sports or work-related movements
- Spinal injury
What are Spinal Arthritis Symptoms?
Spinal arthritis symptoms include neck and back pain, loss of motion, swollen joints and numbness. Some patients may experience a grating sensation in advanced cases, caused by bone rubbing against bone and/or bone spurs.
What are Spinal Arthritis Treatment Options?
The first step in treating spinal arthritis is checking with a pain physician to receive a diagnosis and discuss treatment options tailored to your individual needs.
Spinal arthritis treatment options include heat/cold therapy, rest, low-impact exercises, anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroid injections. Physical therapy may also be prescribed to strengthen and stretch the spine’s surrounding structures. Spinal decompression may be recommended by a pain physician if traditional treatments do not alleviate the back pain and discomfort. Spinal decompression has been proven to be highly effective at alleviating neck and back pain without the use of surgery.
For more resources on spinal arthritis, or to learn more about pain management options, contact the pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, proudly serving the greater Tyler, Texas area.