Spinal Arthritis – Causes & Treatments
Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Arthritis of the spine, also known as Osteoarthritis, is a degenerative condition affecting many elderly patients. In this article we will run through the basics of osteoarthritis – the causes, symptoms, risks, and treatment options.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage in our joints wears down and causes the surrounding bones to degrade. In turn, this results in pain and inflammation in the impacted area. Osteoarthritis can affect any area of the body, but is most common in the spine – where the vertebral bones and discs degenerate.
Arthritis happens naturally to most people as they get older. However, the condition can also present in younger patients who suffer physical trauma, or have a genetic joint disease.
Osteoarthritis cannot be completely prevented or cured. It is simply a natural side effect of an aging body. Years or walking, running, jumping, and moving take their toll on your joints. That said, there are ways you can lessen or delay the effects of arthritis. Being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors for developing arthritis. Eating well and exercising regularly can severely decrease your chances of osteoarthritis.
Treatment for osteoarthritis usually begins with pain medication and physical therapy. If pain is intense, injection therapy to reduce pain may be recommended. Surgery is generally a last resort for people with spinal arthritis. It is used only when pain is severe and mobility is nil. A spinal or total disc replacement could help relieve pain from the arthritis and increase patient mobility.
Osteoarthritis can be absolutely debilitating for some, and an everyday annoyance for others. Regardless of the severity of your arthritis, there are treatments that can get you moving freely and pain-free once again. Consult with your physician to discuss what treatments are best for you.