Expert Health Articles

Spinal Arthritis

According to the CDC, over 32 million people suffer from osteoarthritis.  Arthritis is inflammation and soreness in your joints.  Chronic pain caused by arthritis affects approximately one in four adults. This equates to over 15 million people. Spinal arthritis is a specific type of arthritis that focuses on inflammation of the facet joints that can be located throughout the whole spine.

The most common form of spinal arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is a non-inflammatory or degenerative type of arthritis caused by wear in tear. It is usually more pronounced with bending or twisting and affects the facet joints. Facet joints are located on the top and bottom of each vertebra that connects the vertebrae to each other and permits motion. The facet joints are located in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. When these joints become inflamed and cause pain, it is known as facet joint syndrome or spondyloarthritis. Symptoms of facet syndrome include back and neck pain, stiffness, loss of flexibility of the spine, the feeling of grinding with movement, fatigue, weakness and pain.

Treatment options may include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, lifestyle modification and injection therapy. Patients who have long-term pain should consider seeing a pain management specialist.

Thomas Kindl, MD

Pain Management

Blanchard Valley Pain Management