New Year. Same Old Osteoarthritis.

Woman suffering from back and neck painSince we just turned the calendar to 2022, most of us make resolutions to change aspects of our life. Lose weight. Read more books. Get off Facebook.

And take better care of our back.

One of the main culprits in the ongoing back pain is osteoarthritis. This is “wear and tear” arthritis, and its effects are due to nothing more than the passage of time.

In January’s first two blogs for Dr. Tinley, let’s get into osteoarthritis and how it impacts your spinal health.

What is spinal osteoarthritis?

This form of arthritis in the spine causes inflammation of the spinal facet joints. These joints in the lower back, the lumbar spine, are the most likely to become somewhat arthritic. As the facet joints wear, bone spurs can be produced and these often put pressure on the nerve roots exiting the spinal column. This leads to pain that can radiate down into the legs, and over time can create weakness as the nerve is damaged.

Who is at risk of developing osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is just one more thing we can blame on aging. It affects an estimated 27 million Americans, and most people over the age of 60 have it to some degree. It can show itself as something as simple as a “stiff” hip, or it can be much more involved causing chronic pain. Younger people in their 20s and 30s can get osteoarthritis, but it is usually the result of a joint injury or repetitive joint stress from overuse. It is more common in women than men in those over the age of 50.

What symptoms will I have with spinal osteoarthritis?

If you have spinal osteoarthritis, you likely have a combination of these symptoms:

  • Back and/or neck stiffness and pain that is usually the worst when first waking up
  • Pain that subsides during the day, but tends to return at night
  • Pain that disrupts sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or arms if a nerve is being impinged
  • Swelling and warmth in one or more joints, particularly accompanying low pressure weather systems

In January’s second blog, we’ll get into some of the treatment methods Dr. Tinley uses to help our patients dealing with spinal osteoarthritis get past the pain. Until then, if you need help with your back or neck pain, give us a call at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685, to make an appointment.

Posted in: Osteoarthritis

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