Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.
Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:
Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease
How Does Arthritis Feel
Arthritis usually causes stiffness pain and fatigue. The severity varies from person to person and even from day to day. In some people only a few joints are affected and the impact may be small. In other people the entire body system may be affected.
The joints of the body are the site of much of the action in arthritis. Many types of arthritis show signs of joint inflammation: swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness or warmth. These joint symptoms may be accompanied by weight loss, fever or weakness.
When these symptoms last for more than two weeks, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis may be the cause. Joint inflammation may also be caused by infection which can lead to septic arthritis. Degenerative joint disease is the most common type of arthritis joint inflammation is not a prominent feature of this condition. While normal joints can support a vast amount of use, mechanical abnormalities of a joint make it susceptible to degeneration.
It is healthy for you to keep active and move your joints. If you do not move a joint regularly, the muscles around it weaken and/or become tight. The joint can stiffen or even freeze. When you do try to move the joint and muscles hurt because they have been still for so long.
Arthritis can make it hard to do the movements you rely on every day for work or taking care of your family.
Whats The Outlook For Someone Living With Arthritis
Since theres no cure for arthritis, most people need to manage arthritis for the rest of their lives. Your healthcare provider can help you find the right combination of treatments to reduce symptoms. One of the biggest health risks associated with arthritis is inactivity. If you become sedentary from joint pain, you may face a greater risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions.
Donât Miss: Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Checker
Recommended Reading: What Is The Most Painful Arthritis
Helping A Loved One Who Has Arthritis
If you have a family member or loved one with arthritis, its important to be sensitive to their needs. As their condition could worsen over time, learning all you can about their specific arthritis helps both you as a caretaker and your loved one as a patient.
Learn Their Symptoms
Reading about what arthritis feels like can give you a perspective about what they need daily. Along with pain comes mental health changes and threats to the individuals well-being. Knowing what their symptoms are and what to expect during a flare-up can prepare you to give the best care you can.
If You Cant Care, Support
It isnt always possible to offer physical or emotional care if you arent a professional. If you cant extend any skills in this arena, at least know how you can support your loved ones while they receive medical care. Listen to them, help them with appointments, and show you care.
Find a Caregiver
Life gets chaotic and arthritis can impact the family in more ways than one. Finding a caregiver can help maintain or even improve the quality of life for everyone involved. They can help with movement, daily functions, and offer relief to the arthritis patient.
You May Like: How Do You Know You Have Arthritis In Your Back
Arthritis Feels Like Getting Hit In The Knees With A Baseball Bat By Arnold Schwarzenegger
Occasional knee pain is pretty common but not all knee pain is created equally. I tell people that my knees dont hurt like when you fall over and bump your knee, but they feel as if Arnold Schwarzenegger hit them with a baseball bat every time I take a step, explains Jack, 50, of Melbourne, Australia. They hurt every second, every minute of every day. Thats my life, and thats why I dont go for a quick walk to get coffee with you in the morning, or walk round the park at lunchtime, or join in the office football team.
You May Like: Is Weed Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Also Check: What Can Be Done For Arthritis In The Ankle
Most Common Types Of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is perhaps the most common type of arthritis. Its what most people are likely to automatically think about when they hear the term arthritis. Harvard Health estimates there is a 50/50 chance that someone will experience Osteoarthritis in life.
Osteo means related to the bones. Therefore, this type of arthritis affects the joints, cartilage, and bones. This wear-and-tear is most often seen in people over the age of 50. But it can also affect younger people with preexisting conditions or major injuries. It starts mild but then gradually gets more and more serious over time.
It causes cartilage the padding material between our bones to break down. As you can imagine, this can be super painful. It mostly affects the knees, elbows, hands, and hips, which are joints we all use most often. But it can affect any joint in the body even small joints like the fingers, spine, and toes.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:
- Grinding or popping sounds in the affected joints
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the types of inflammatory arthritis disorders. Its an autoimmune disorder rheumatic meaning of the soft tissue. This means the body thinks the healthy cells are a threat to the immune system, and therefore attacks them as an unwanted virus or foreign substance. As a result, the immune system gets depleted and the body suffers in physical ways.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Increased stress levels or extreme mood swings
Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of spinal arthritis. It usually affects the lower back and develops through wear and tear. As the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down, it leads to inflammation and pain. Because the pain is from mechanical damage, it is typically more noticeable when you bend or twist your back. Past back injuries may also contribute to the development of degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Osteoarthritis of the spine usually affects the facet joints between the vertebrae. It is also known as facet joint arthritis, facet joint syndrome and facet disease. In some cases, degeneration of the spinal discs may contribute to facet joint arthritis. As discs between the vertebrae become thinner, more pressure is transferred to the facet joints. This leads to more friction and more damage to the cartilage.
When these degenerative changes occur in the neck, this condition is called cervical spondylosis. Arthritis in the neck doesnt always cause pain, and many people have no noticeable symptoms.
Read Also: Does Stress Cause Arthritis Flare Ups
What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like
With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:
How Is Joint Pain Treated
Although there may not be a cure for the pain, it can be managed to bring the patient relief. Sometimes the pain may go away by taking over-the-counter medication, or by performing simple daily exercises. Other times, the pain may be signaling problems that can only be corrected with prescription medication or surgery.
If those medications or treatments do not ease the pain, the doctor may prescribe:
- Supportive aids, such as a brace, cane, or orthotic device in the shoe, can help support the joint to allow ease of movement. The doctor, physical or occupational therapist, or social worker will be able to assist with the right option available.
- Physical or Occupational Therapy, along with a balanced fitness program, may gradually help ease pain and improve flexibility.
- Antidepressants may be prescribed to help improve sleep for a patient suffering from joint pain.
- Steroids, often given by injection into the joint, provide short-term relief of pain and swelling.
- Painkilling drugs that help ease pain.
Please note that medicine, even those available over the counter, affects people differently. What helps one person may not work for another. Be sure to follow the doctors directions carefully when taking any medicine, and tell him or her if you have any side effects.
Don’t Miss: Does Losing Weight Help Arthritis
Arthritis With Involvement Of The Connective Tissues
Connective tissues include tendons, ligaments and cartilages. When someone suffers from arthritis, it is possible that the inflammatory process extends and affects the connective tissues as well.
In such situations, the leg pain becomes more severe and the overall functionality is severely reduced.
As opposed to other types of arthritis, this type is progressive the inflammation becomes worse with the passing of time and it can affect not only the connective tissues and joints but also the muscles, skin and vital organs, such as the lungs and the kidneys.
Examples of such medical conditions include systemic sclerosis, SLE and dermatomyositis.
Arthritis Feels Like Jumping Off The Top Of A Jungle Gym And Landing On Concrete
You know that deep vibrating feeling, that ache deep in your bones, that you get after you jump off something tall and land really hard on concrete? Thats what I tell people my rheumatoid arthritis feels like, says Sarah, 35, of Rochester, New York. Or sometimes it feels like Ive done three intense full body workouts in a row. People usually seem to get it better if I can relate it to something like that.
You May Like: What Herbal Supplement Is Good For Arthritis
What My Arthritis Pain Feels Like
Morning stiffness and pain One key sign of inflammatory arthritis is morning stiffness. This means pretty much what it sounds like: Im extra stiff in the morning. For me personally, this also means some morning pain. Its different than pain later in the day, as its more like pain from my joints taking a while to warm up in the morning. When Im doing well, my morning stiffness and pain last about 30 minutes. When Im not, it can take at least 2 hours to wear off.
Because of this, I like to wake up way earlier than I might otherwise. If I start work at 8, for example, I want to wake up between 6 and 7. This gives me time to mentally and physically fully wake up. My morning pain is around the joints that are particularly stiff. For example, my good knee feels not-terrible most of the time, but it is difficult first thing in the morning. It is stiff and I have more pain in the morning in that knee than I do during the rest of the day.
Daily normal pain My traditional daily pain is like an ache focused around the particular joints that are affected and bother me. When it is really bad, that ache radiates out from the joint. I put ache in quotation marks because while it is the best description for it, I personally feel like it downplays the pain.
Let me be clear: that aching can hurt incredibly badly.
That being said, lets go back to what my daily pain is like.
What Is The Best Vitamin For Arthritis
Top 4 Supplements for Arthritis Pain Relief
You May Like: What Foods Are Good For Psoriatic Arthritis
Spinal Arthritis May Contribute To Other Issues In The Spine
Spinal arthritis may cause bone spurs overgrowths on the edges of the bones. In the spine, bone spurs particularly affect facet joints, making them grow larger. This condition is called facet joint hypertrophy. Although bone spurs on their own are not harmful, they may narrow the passages for the spinal cord and the nerves exiting the spine. This may lead to two painful conditions:
Spinal stenosis compression of the spinal cord inside the spinal canal
Radiculopathy pinching of the peripheral nerves as they exit the spine
Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause additional problems such as:
Stress fractures in places where new bone has formed
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
What Does The Pain Of Arthritis Feel Like
With the passage of time and the aging of our body, the symptoms of pain and stiffness in our joints appear. The wear of bones, cartilage, tendons or tissue at a certain age produces swelling, heaviness and loss of mobility. With aging they appear not to have pain during youth and we must learn to live with them. What does the pain of arthritis feel like?. If you feel your sore joints, it takes you back or you have swollen limbs, this is also evidence that you are suffering from this disease. Pay attention!
Usually, arthritis is caused by inflammationtissue lining our joints. While there are different types of arthritis, as discussed below, the symptoms that occur usually are pain, redness, swelling and stiffness.
You know that arthritis is not a single disease, but may be living together with many others. However, the pain caused by this disease must be accepted and you must try to surpass them, as it is a symptom of old age and does not prevent most people from doing their everyday activities, although we may feel slower, somewhat stiff and sore.
The most common types of arthritis are:
Pain is a clear sign that something is happening in our body. In the case of arthritis, symptoms are combined into a joint pain and general discomfort. In addition to general symptoms that we have seen previously, arthritis can lead to patient weight loss, fever, rash and even difficulty breathing, which can go hand in hand with loss of mobility.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In The Feet
How Is Spinal Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use some or all of the following diagnostic methods to confirm spinal arthritis:
Medical history and physical exam
Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies
X-rays of the spine to locate the arthritic joint
Joint aspiration: testing of the synovial fluid inside a joint
To pinpoint the painful joint, your doctor may numb it with an injection and check whether the pain goes away.
What Osteoarthritis Pain Feels Like
Pain is pain, right? It just plain hurts. But for your doctor to figure out whether your joint pain stems from osteoarthritis, which develops as cartilage wears away, youll need to be specific about when the pain occurs, how bad it is, and the ways it’s affecting you.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis that may help you identify and better describe your pain to your doctor:
- Pain that aches deep into the joint
- Pain that feels better with rest
- Pain that isn’t noticeable in the morning but gets worse throughout the day
- Pain that radiates into your buttocks, thighs, or groin
- Joint pain that affects your posture and gait and may cause limping
- Pain that occurs after using the joint
- Swelling in the joint
Also Check: Does Juvenile Arthritis Go Away
Caring For Someone With Arthritis
The key to helping someone with arthritis is to stay positive and be sensitive to their mental health and wellbeing. Pain isnt fun, and the reality is that for most people with arthritis the condition will get worse, not better.
If you are caring for someone with arthritis, hometouch can help. All of the hometouch live-in carers have gone through a thorough 42-point vetting process, and only 5% are accepted. You choose the live-in carer you want to work with, and we provide support with contracts, payments, and holiday and sickness cover.
Find out more about Artritis:
What Can Be Done To Relieve Joint Pain
Surgery may be an option if the joint pain is long lasting and does not lessen with drugs or physical therapy and exercise. Please be sure to discuss this with the doctor to make sure that an operation makes sense.
There are many different surgical options available, including:
Arthroscopy: A procedure where a surgeon makes two or three small incisions in the flesh over the joint and gets into the joint using an arthroscope, or a thin, flexible, fiberoptic instrument, to repair cartilage or remove bone chips in or near the joint.
Joint replacement: If other treatments do not help, surgery may be needed to replace the joint once the cartilage that cushions and protects the ends of the bones gradually wears away. This can be done for hip, knee and shoulder joints.
A surgeon removes parts of the patients bone and implants an artificial joint made from metal or plastic. This procedure has had excellent results and the majority of patients feel long-lasting pain relief after this type of surgery.
Recommended Reading: Does Ice Relieve Arthritis Pain