Spinal Arthritis

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Spinal Arthritis symptoms may start by age 30

Once spinal arthritis is identified and diagnosed, the right treatment can help you manage this arthritis back pain!

Risk factors for osteoarthritis back pain include:

  • Being middle-aged or older. Arthritis back pain is most common in people over age 50, but symptoms may start by age 30.
  • Being overweight. Carrying around excess weight increases the wear and tear on your spine.
  • Having a back injury. A history of trauma to your spine or a history of spinal surgery can increase your risk for developing spinal arthritis.

Other symptoms of arthritis of the spine may include:

  • Neck pain that radiates into the shoulders and arms.
  • Back pain that radiates into the buttocks and legs.
  • Numbness, cramping, or weakness in the arms or legs.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.

Doctors can usually diagnose spinal arthritis by taking your medical history and doing a physical exam. A plain X-ray is sometimes the only other diagnostic exam needed. If symptoms persist over time, the next step is usually an MRI.

Common approaches to ease arthritis back pain may include:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support the back.
  • Medications to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Weight loss and regular exercise.
  • Alternative treatments such as chiropractic manipulation or acupuncture.
  • Surgical treatment to relieve pressure on the spine or the spinal nerves.

If you have arthritis back pain or neck pain that radiates into your arms or legs, work with your doctor to find the best treatment. You should always tell your doctor about spinal arthritis symptoms of numbness and weakness. Loss of bladder or bowel control may be a symptom of spinal arthritis which is causing dangerous pressure on the nerves of the lower back. This is an emergency symptom and requires immediate attention.

Arthritis back pain is very common, especially if you are over age 50. Although there is no cure for arthritis of the spine, in most cases symptoms of arthritis back pain can be relieved by conservative treatment and lifestyle changes.

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