What is Spinal Arthritis?

Arthritis is characterized as the swelling and tenderness of a joint. The most frequent types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common spinal arthritis and occurs when the cartilage in your joints breaks down. Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system attacks your joints. Spinal arthritis is a subset of either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis and causes pain and stiffness in your lower back. If left untreated, more severe symptoms and conditions can develop.

What Are The Risk Factors For Arthritis?

An estimated 80% of Americans have an episode of low back pain during their lifetime and Spinal arthritis is a common cause of that pain. Certain factors could increase your possibility of developing any form of arthritis. Risk factors for arthritis include:

  • Genetics Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your immediate family has the disorder.

  • Age. The risk of many types of arthritis increases with age.

  • Sex. Certain types of arthritis are more common in women while others in men.

  • Previous joint injury.  People who injure a joint are more likely to build arthritis in that joint.

  • Obesity. People with obesity have a higher risk of developing arthritis due to the stress they put on their joints.

What Are The Symptoms of Arthritis?

Besides pain and stiffness, patients can feel a decreased motion range, redness, and swelling in the joints and surrounding tissues. Headaches, weakness, and fatigue are also common symptoms of arthritis. The symptoms may vary depending on the development of arthritis and location. Spinal arthritis in particular can be very painful and difficult to deal with as it can affect the range of motion, walking, and other daily activities.

What Other Health Conditions Are Related To Spinal Arthritis?

Severe spinal arthritis can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. This condition can keep you from sitting down comfortably or even driving. In some cases, joints may gradually lose their alignment and shape. If you do not treat your spinal arthritis you can develop other serious conditions like stenosis and spondylolisthesis. Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal that results in pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Spondylolisthesis happens when one of the bones of the spine slips out of alignment with the other vertebrae in the spine. 

Anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy are common treatments for these conditions. If surgery is necessary, there is a team of surgeons at Comprehensive Spine Care ready to develop a treatment plan based on your symptoms, physical examinations, and test results. 

What Are My Treatment Options?

Arthritis treatment aims to relieve symptoms and improve joint function. Physical therapy, medications, and if needed surgery are all treatments for spinal arthritis. You might need a combination of treatments to obtain the best results. When physical therapy and medication do not work, your doctor might advise you to receive corrective surgery. 

We treat patients using the most minimally-invasive procedures possible. Depending on the location, misalignment, & severity your doctor will recommend the appropriate surgical procedure. The Comprehensive Spine Care surgeons are proud to be the spine experts in New Jersey and offer the following treatments:

  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACDF)

  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

  • Artificial Disc Replacement (CDR/TDR/ADR)

  • Cervical Foraminotomy & Discectomy

  • Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF/LLIF/DLIF)

  • Microdiscectomy/Microdecompression and Laminectomy

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)

  • Physiatry and Pain Management

  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy & Fusion

  • Spinal Cord/Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulator

  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

To determine the right procedure for you, speak with your doctor. Comprehensive Spine Care offers treatment to patients at four different locations in Westwood, Clifton, Bridgewater, and Brunswick so relief is never too far away. Call 201-634-1811 to schedule your consultation today.

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