Degenerative Arthritis Of The Spine, also referred to as Osteoarthritis of the Spine or Spinal Osteoarthritis, is a spine condition that involves the wearing down of protective cartilage of the joints and discs in the neck and lower back. In turn, the degeneration or “wearing down” of the protective cartilage causes swelling, pain, and often times the development of bone spurs. When bone spurs develop in the spine, this can lead to pressure being put on the nerves leaving the spinal column, a condition that can cause weakness and pain in the arms and legs.
Osteoarthritis of the Spine generally affects people as they get older. However, younger people with a genetic condition or trauma to the spine can also experience this condition. Being overweight puts a person at much greater risk of experiencing Spinal Osteoarthritis, as does having a job or participating in a sport that puts significant or repetitive stress on the spine.
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The most common symptoms of this condition involve stiffness or pain in the neck or back, weakness or numbness in the legs or arms, reflex changes, and loss of sensation. Most patients suffering from Osteoarthritis of the Spine find relief when lying down.
After taking a complete medical history and performing a physical exam to analyze symptoms, the diagnosis of Osteoarthritis of the Spine is most accurately confirmed by X-Ray, which can indicate bone spurs, bone damage, and a loss of disc or cartilage. It is important to note, however, that X-rays are not effective at showing early damage to cartilage. Further, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can also be conducted to for the purpose of revealing any possible damage to discs or narrowing of areas where spinal nerves are located.
If you suspect that either you or a loved one may be suffering from Osteoarthritis of the Spine, come in to speak with our Spine Specialists here at the Stridewell Clinic. We are able to quickly provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan. Further, we will spend the necessary time to explain your condition and answer all questions that you may have. Stridewell Tips
When treating Spinal Osteoarthritis, the goal is to relieve pain and increase a person’s ability to function. If overweight, the first course of action will include weight loss and then the necessary counseling and guidance for maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise, particularly swimming, walking, and water aerobics, as well as physical therapy, can also be effective treatment options for patients suffering from this degenerative spine condition.read article