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Arthritis in the Spine: Symptoms and Treatment

We often think of arthritis as affecting fingers and knees. But arthritis can affect most joints in the body, including the joints of the spine. In this article we’ll look at the stymptoms and treatment options for spinal arthritis.

arthritis in the spine

There are several forms of spinal arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops over time. It is the result of age and wear and tear on the joint components.

Spinal Arthritis: Symptoms

Individuals with osteoarthritis usually experience swelling of the joints which leads to stiffness and pain. The severity of the symptoms can vary over time leading to chronic pain. Depending on the location of the arthritis, pain may be felt in the neck, back, or may radiate out toward the extremities. Individuals may feel a grinding sensation in their joints.

In addition to the pain, the irritation may lead to the formation of bone spurs on the vertebrae. These can cause further discomfort.

Treatment Options for Arthritis of the Spine

Although you can’t reverse arthritis, you can take steps to alleviate the pain and slow the progression of the condition.

Pain Treatments

To help manage the pain from spinal arthritis, treatment options usually include one or more of the following: medications, exercise, and physical therapy.

See Also: How to Exercise with Back Pain

Slowing the Progression of Arthritis

Slowing the progression of arthritis is an important aspect of treatment. By slowing the progression, you’re more likely to avoid more severe symptoms in the future. The main methods used for slowing the progression of spinal arthritis are diet and exercise.

If you’re having difficulty exercising because of the pain just start slowly. Start by walking a little each day. You’ll find that each day you can walk a little more. This will increase your strength and help with the pain.

In terms of diet, the Arthritis Foundation recommends trying to eat more foods that fight inflammation. Some examples include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and soybeans. Red fruits such as cherries, strawberries, raspberries have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.  Dairy can help your bones stay strong with calcium and vitamin D. Other foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation and/or slow the progression of osteoarthritis include brocolli, oranges, green tea, garlic, and whole grains.

See Also: Foods for a Healthy Spine

 


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*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery