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Spinal Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Spinal Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Back pain is a common problem. Low back pain alone troubles an estimated 619 million people worldwide. However, this widespread issue can have several causes, and they each require personalized treatments. 

Dr. Vladimir Fiks offers proven interventional treatments for spinal pain, including symptoms caused by osteoarthritis, at Advanced Pain Management Center. In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month this May, Dr. Fiks explains how osteoarthritis impacts the spine and shares ways he can help at his practice in Portland, Oregon.

Causes of spinal osteoarthritis

Just like there are several causes of back pain, there are numerous forms of arthritis, more than 100 to be precise, but the most common is osteoarthritis

When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage in between joints in your spine starts to break down, triggering inflammation and pain. That’s why people often refer to this condition as degenerative arthritis.

In most cases, osteoarthritis in your spine impacts the small facet joints in between each vertebrae. This interferes with spinal function, making it most noticeable when you bend or twist.

Common causes of spinal osteoarthritis include: 

However, your chances of developing osteoarthritis in the spine also increase if you have a family history of the condition or defective joints or cartilage at birth. Your chances of having this condition also increase if you’re overweight, obese, a woman, or assigned female at birth.

Symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis

You can have osteoarthritis in your spine without symptoms, especially if it develops in the neck — or cervical spine. 

Generally speaking, the early stages of spinal stenosis often cause minor symptoms that are more pronounced in the morning or after long periods of inactivity.

Additional signs of osteoarthritis in the spine include:

It’s also common for osteoarthritis symptoms in the spine to worsen from standing or sitting upright and improve when lying down.

If you’ve noticed any of these issues, it’s important to seek treatment as early as possible. This is a progressive disease, which means it worsens with time. That means symptoms typically develop and become more pronounced as the condition progresses.

Early interventions can keep spinal osteoarthritis from interfering with daily life and causing long-term disability.

Treating spinal osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis in the spine isn’t curable or reversible. However, Dr. Fiks can ease your symptoms and improve mobility and function in your spinal joints.

Spinal osteoarthritis treatments often include:

If your symptoms don’t respond to conservative therapies, Dr. Fiks could recommend minimally invasive treatments, like spinal decompression or joint fusion surgery. 

Spinal decompression eases pressure on nerve roots in the area, while spinal fusion restores stability to the spine.

If you have spine pain, don’t ignore it. Treatment can help you feel like yourself again. And, if you have osteoarthritis, treatments can slow down degeneration in your spine.

Do you have spine pain? Contact Advanced Pain Management Center to schedule a consultation with Vladimir Fiks, MD, in Portland, Oregon, today.

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