Arthritis and Diseases That Affect the Back
There are many forms of arthritis and related conditions that can affect the joints, muscles and/or bones and cause problems like pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back. While any part of the back can be affected, the lower back is the most common site of arthritis because it bears more of the body's weight. Neck pain associated with arthritis is also very common. In conventional medical wisdom, we associate arthritis in the spine with age.
Age can very well cause the problem to worsen over time, but age is not the cause of an arthritic problem. You can learn why at our upcoming complimentary seminar. Let's discuss the two most common types of arthritis that affect the spine.
The most common form of arthritis of the back, osteoarthritis, is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones. Where these bones meet forms the joints. So when there is destruction to this structure, the joints become weakened and inflamed. We classify this as arthritis.
In the spine, this breakdown occurs in the cartilage of the joints, where the vertebrae join. As a result, movement of the bones can cause irritation, further damage and the formation of bony outgrowths that we call bone spurs. These spurs can press on nerves, causing pain. In addition, they cause limited range of motion within the joint. This is what causes muscles to tighten, resulting in one not being able to move as freely as he or she once did.
New bone formation can also lead to narrowing of the spinal canal, known as spinal stenosis. Millions of Americans suffer with this condition. Narrowing of the spinal canal occurs for a reason and again it is not age. Spinal stenosis can occur when changes in arthritis lead to bony overgrowth of the vertebrae and thickening of the ligaments.
If a significant overgrowth occurs, it can cause the spinal column to narrow and press on the nerves or spinal cord housed within. This can literally choke off the nerve supply to vital organs and parts of the body, resulting in several serious health conditions. Because the affected nerves have many functions, the condition may cause diverse problems in the lower body, including back pain, pain or numbness in the legs, weakness in the legs or arms and even things like constipation or urinary incontinence.
If you suffer with spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis or any of the symptoms mentioned, please join Dr. Ruocco at Panera Bread in Rocky River on August 26 at 7:15 p.m. He will explain the true causes of and solutions to spinal arthritis and other related spinal conditions. It may change your life. This seminar is free and open to the community. Please call 440-331-4744 to reserve a space.
Dr. Bryan Ruocco is a local chiropractor and wellness advocate. His mission is to educate and help us grow a healthy community. He owns and operates the Power of LIFE Wellness Center located in Rocky River. Dr. Ruocco graduated from the Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. He graduated in the top of his class and received Magna Cum Laude Honors.