Even though spinal arthritis is not a life threatening disease, it can be very painful and very frustrating to live with. It can stop you from enjoying many of the things you once enjoyed in life because it is just too painful to go to the effort.
Like many other diseases, there are different types of spinal arthritis just as there are different types of arthritis in general. Some of the most prevalent are spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.
The main symptom of spinal arthritis is the same as all other types of arthritis – pain. This is of course the symptom that patients are most interested in getting rid of. No one likes to go through life in pain.
Even though pain seems to be the most important symptom for the patients as far as treatment is concerned, there are other symptoms as well for this disease.
1 – Stiffness in the joints, especially in the morning or after staying in one position for an extended period of time.
2 – The spinal area can feel numb and in some advanced cases even cause spinal deformity.
3 – Swelling and redness – There is usually always swelling around the areas of the joints involved. This is because they are inflamed and the body in trying to fight off the inflammation. However, with arthritis this is a problem that is hard to keep in check. Most of the time the patient needs to stay on a series of anti-inflammatory drugs to keep the swelling and pain down.
4 – Reduced Movement – Because of both the pain involved and the deterioration of the bones in advanced spinal arthritis, there is almost always less mobility.
5 – Bones Rubbing – At times the protective lubricates and cushioning of the bones are so far deteriorated that the patient can actually feel bones touching and rubbing each other.
The main cause of spinal arthritis is the cartilages of the spinal bones has become so worn with friction over the years that they are no longer protected. Each one of the disc in the spine has a cushion of a gel like substance that acts as a shock absorber to our bodies and especially our spine. Over the years or possibly due to an injury, this substance may bulge out of the spinal disc and come in contact with the spinal nerves that run right along side the spine. When this happens there can be extreme pain and even numbness in the legs.
If you are having any of the symptoms spoken of in this article, it is very important to see a specialist and get treated. In many cases early treatment can either slow down or completely halt the advancement of spinal arthritis.