Arthritis affects nearly 50 million Americans, and more than 60 million Americans will suffer from arthritis by the year 2020. When you think of arthritis, you likely think of joint pain in your knees, hips and feet. But you can also experience arthritis in your spine. Arthritis in the spine has the potential to limit your mobility as well as your happiness.
Too many people think that arthritis is limited to the legs, arms and hands. The truth is that arthritis can impact any joint in the body, even the joints along the spine.
Spinal arthritis occurs in the facet joints that link vertebrae together along the posterior section of the spine. These joints are critically important for movements such as bending, stretching and twisting. As these joints harden over time, spinal osteoarthritis can develop.
An individual who suffers from degenerative arthritis of the spine actually experiences a cartilage breakdown along the facet joints. The result is pain of varying degrees and limited mobility.
Spinal Arthritis Symptoms
If you feel pain or stiffness in your neck or your back, it might be an indication that you are suffering from osteoarthritis of the spine. Severe spinal arthritis can also cause numbness and weakness in the arms and legs. The pain can even extend to other areas of the body by way of affected nerves. Pain along the upper portion of the thighs and the buttocks is often linked to spinal arthritis.
If you find that one of the few times your back doesn't give you trouble is when you are sleeping, there is a chance that you are suffering from spinal arthritis. Other symptoms include a constantly stiff neck and numbness/tingling along the neck and/or back. These symptoms can lead to drastically limited mobility for some while others experience minimal interference in their daily lives.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the spine, there are a number of different ways to treat the problem. Most people give pain medications, muscle relaxants and/or anti-inflammatory drugs a shot. Others try physical therapy in the form of the application of ice or heat, ultrasound and/or massage therapy. Some find relief in the form of stretch routines and warm-up exercises. It also helps to decrease your weight to place less stress on the spine and neck.
If conservative treatment does not provide pain relief, it is time to consider alternative treatment options. A minimally invasive spinal surgery has the potential to provide significant relief from your back or neck pain.
Help is Available at Capital City Neurosurgery
If you are experiencing back or neck pain, do not suffer in silence. Capital City Neurosurgery will perform a diagnosis of your condition to determine if you are actually suffering from spinal arthritis. If it is determined that you have spinal arthritis, you can trust our team to do everything in our power to correct the problem. Minimally invasive spinal surgery performed by our accomplished neurosurgeon, Dr. Kelly Kiehm, has the potential to return your life to normal.
Reach out to us today to find out more about how we can reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.