The Location of Spinal Arthritis Symptoms
Spinal arthritis symptoms will vary from person to person and the location of these symptoms will depend on which level of the spine is affected. The cervical spine, or neck, is the most common site of degenerative spinal arthritis, also called spinal osteoarthritis. If arthritis-related nerve compression occurs, symptoms could spread through the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. Chronic headaches also could occur. The lumbar spine (lower back) is the second most common area for spinal osteoarthritis to occur. Symptoms of this condition may radiate through the lower back, buttocks, hips, legs, and feet.
Knowing the Difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Spinal osteoarthritis, also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, involves the gradual deterioration of the cartilage that lines the facet joints. This means the joint has very little padding as it moves, which could give rise to the following symptoms:
- Limited range of motion
- Joint instability
- Spontaneous joint lockage
Rheumatoid arthritis is another fairly common form of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the lubricating synovial lining of certain joints. As a result, an excess amount of synovial joint fluid is produced, resulting in inflamed and swollen joints. Symptoms include:
- Warm pain
- Areas of deformity
- Abnormal joint stiffness
- Destruction of cartilage
When to See a Doctor about Spinal Arthritis Symptoms
If you think you may be suffering from any type of arthritis, consult your primary care physician. He or she can take the necessary steps to properly diagnose your condition, or your primary care doctor might send you to an arthritis specialist who can consult you about the latest treatment options. Many patients have found relief from non-surgical treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, nerve block injections, gentle stretching, massage, and ice packs.