Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints, cartilage, bones, muscles, and connective fibers in your body. While there are over 100 different types of arthritis, the two most common that strike adults are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Experts say that 90% of US adults experience some form of arthritis. With its many joints and its central role in supporting the body, the spine is a common area for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that mostly affects older individuals. While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is not known, it is associated with wear and tear on the joints that happen either over time or as the result of acute injury. It is most common in joints that are used often, such as those in the hands, hips, back, and legs.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It can strike at any age and can cause pain, swelling, and reduced mobility in any joint in the body. While it is most commonly felt in the hands and fingers, it can also occur in the joints in the spinal column and in the hips.
Facet disease, also known as facet joint syndrome, is most commonly arthritis that affects the facet joints. On the rear side of each vertebra are facet joints which hold the spine together. Facet joints make movements like bending, stretching and twisting possible. These joints are also the ones in the spine that are most likely to develop osteoarthritis. Someone who is diagnosed with arthritis of the spine is most likely experiencing cartilage breakdown in those joints. The pain can be mild to severe.