Arthritis is a general term for joint inflammation and damage. It actually refers to over 100 different conditions, however is typically used to describe the most common form, osteoarthritis, also known as OA.
Like other types of arthritis, OA can affect just about any joint in the body, including spinal joints, with the neck and lower back being the most frequently affected spinal regions. This is a chronic condition associated with intra-articular (inside-the-joint) tissue breakdown. Normally, our joints contain cartilage and fluid to lubricate and cushion the joint; in OA, the cartilage wears down over time, leading to a painful bone-on-bone situation and narrowed joint space. This irritation can trigger the development of bony outgrowths, known as bone spurs, which may impinge on nearby nerves. For this reason, many people with OA also experience pain, numbness, and/or weakness in one or several limbs.
What Does Spinal Osteoarthritis Feel Like?
A person with spinal osteoarthritis (OA) will typically complain of stiffness and pain in their affected joints. This pain is typically described as achy, and is often worse first thing in the morning or immediately upon standing after sitting for a while (this is a common issue for people with sedentary jobs).
Who Gets Spinal Osteoarthritis?
Anyone can get spinal OA, but it’s more likely to occur in older people, or people with a history of joint trauma.
How Can The Team At Progressive Spine & Sports Help Me Live with My Spinal Osteoarthritis?
We have “spine” in our name for a reason! The team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, led by Ramsey pain management doctors Dr. Kevin McElroy and Dr. Steven Ferrer, have extensive training and clinical experience working with spinal conditions. We find this area of the body not only fascinating to us as healthcare practitioners, but also essential to health for virtually anyone who walks through our clinic doors.
An accurate diagnosis is key for ensuring optimally streamlined treatment. Using advanced diagnostic imaging and other tests and measures, our team can rule out other similar conditions (such as ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis) and confirm both the presence and severity of OA. Based on the results of our initial evaluation, we can implement individualized treatment which focuses on addressing the essential elements of an OA condition: joint stiffness, joint swelling, pain, and reduced functional activity tolerance.
Here are a few examples of what we can do for you or your loved one living with spinal OA:
- Osteopathic manipulations, which can improve the alignment and mobility of affected joints
- Regenerative treatments, including stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections, which can improve the health and integrity of affected joints
- Physical therapy, which can help strengthen the muscles and tendons surrounding and supporting affected joints
Are you looking for a second opinion about your spinal osteoarthritis? Wondering if OA is what’s causing your neck or lower back discomfort and dysfunction? Don’t guess: find out and get help. To schedule an appointment or to learn about our non-surgical orthopedic and rehabilitative services, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at (201) 962-9199. We are proud to be Northern New Jersey’s leaders in comprehensive pain management. We invite you to experience the difference with our Ramsey team.