Arthritis Of The Spine

Arthritis has the ability to affect any joint in the body and the vertebral joints in the spine are no exception. These joints, also known as facet joints, facilitate movement such as bending and twisting.The development of arthritis will cause pain in the lower back, buttocks and thighs. It can also decrease range of motion.

This debilitating disease usually affects individuals over 40 years of age. It develops as the cartilage in between the discs in the spine get worn down. In its severe form, arthritis of the spine can cause muscles to breakdown, depression and excruciating debilitating pain.

Causes

Spinal arthritis is mainly caused by injury and degeneration of the spinal facet joints due to age. An injury to the back, no matter when it occurred, may not properly heal and lead to arthritis later in life.

As a person ages, cartilage in between the joints may wear away allowing the bones to grind together,thus causing inflammation of the joint. This inflammation causes pain and arthritis to develop.

Symptoms

Symptoms of arthritis in the spine differ from patient to patient. The frequency and intensity of the pain also is different for each individual. The most common symptoms are pain in the back, neck and shoulders. In some instances, a person might feel numbness in the neck area.

The pain may come and go and certain movements such as bending can cause the pain to develop or intensify. The pain can also come on if the body has remained at rest for some period of time like during sleep.