Sometimes people with different conditions will experience similar back pain symptoms. However, there are some that are specific to arthritis of the spine. The most common type of arthritis suffered by adults is osteoarthritis, followed by rheumatoid. We work with you to properly diagnose your back pain problem so that you can get the right treatment. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms or experience them the same way. By carefully assessing all that you are experiencing, we can get the answers that you need. The symptoms of spine arthritis can include any of the following.
Pain is the most common symptom associated with spine arthritis or with facet joint syndrome, a related condition. In most cases, around 80 percent of the pain is concentrated in the lower back, hips, and buttocks. Some people who are experiencing severe pain may also feel it radiate into the legs. This is often felt as a burning sensation and can be confused with nerve root pain. If pain disrupts your sleep, this is often a sign of arthritis.
People who have arthritis will often have stiffness in their backs. This is often most severe when waking up in the morning and gets better with activity. Researchers think that this is because fluid builds up during the night because of inactivity. However, overuse can make people feel stiffer toward the end of the day.
Swelling or Warmth
Arthritis can cause localized swelling or feelings of warmth in affected joints, such as in and around the facet joints. This may be more pronounced on days when the weather is changing, as changing weather can also bring changes in barometric pressure.
A Crunching or Rubbing Sensation
When there is damage to the cartilage in a joint, you may be subject to a rubbing or crunching sound or feeling when you move. This can be caused by bone rubbing against bone in an area where the cartilage is rubbed away. This sensation occurs most frequently in the neck but can show up anywhere arthritis is experienced.
Numbness or Tingling
In some cases of arthritis, bone spurs develop in places where bone rubs against bone. This can pinch nerves or the spinal cord itself. When nerves are irritated or constricted, you may feel pinching or tingling sensations or numbness radiating from the affected area.
Decreased Range of Movement
Between pain and stiffness, many people find it harder to move as well as they did before arthritis symptoms set in. Some people find that they can regain some of their range of movement when their arthritis symptoms are addressed.
Additional Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
All of the above may be experienced by someone who has either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. If your pain is caused by rheumatoid arthritis, you may also experience any of the following:
- Weight loss
- Tenderness in your skin
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to be symmetrical; if you are having arthritis pain in your hips, you will feel it in both hips. It may be experienced on a constant basis or you may be subject to flare-ups where it gets worse.
Assessing your Symptoms
Finding the root cause of your pain can help us chart a path of treatment that can significantly improve your symptoms. We work with you to find the best combination of self-care and treatments at our multi-discipline facility to fit your condition, your symptoms, and your life.