At the Spine Institute of North America, we have the ability to manage and treat spinal arthritis and its symptoms. As we’ve worked with patients from around the world, we’ve learned that people don’t really understand just how extensive arthritis actually is. There are over 100 types of arthritis, and they cause pain for people every day. Understanding what you’re dealing with is key to taking the necessary steps to move forward.

In today’s blog, we want to dive into two of the most common types of arthritis. You might wonder why a spine doctor would be talking about arthritis, and you wouldn’t be alone. A lot of people think of fingers and knees when they think arthritis, not the spine. Unfortunately, the spine can be affected by arthritis and deeply affect the lifestyle of anyone suffering from it. There are two types of arthritis that most commonly affect people of many different ages. Read on to learn more!

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

This form of arthritis is actually an autoimmune disease. When you have an autoimmune disease, your body actually attacks itself, especially its joints. Inflammation flares up, and if it isn’t addressed, permanent damage can be done to the joints. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may develop rheumatoid nodules, which affect one out of every five people with the condition. These lumps of skin will often show up on joints that have to deal with pressure, like elbows, heels, knuckles, or spine.

  • Why does it happen?

    • While we aren’t exactly sure why rheumatoid arthritis happens, there are a few theories. A commonly-accepted theory is that, after fighting off a bacterial or viral infection, the immune system gets confused and attacks your joints. The battle can spread, affecting other parts of your body.
  • What does it feel like?

    • Like most types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis creates stiffness, swelling, and pain that affects multiple joints. While it commonly shows up in hands, elbows, wrists, knees, and jaw, it also shows up in the neck and spine. It has a symmetrical pattern and won’t go away over time. You’ll expect it to go away, but it won’t, and it will gradually spread and get in the way of your daily activities. It will start in the morning and last for hours. It can also lower your appetite and make you tired.

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Osteoarthritis

This form of arthritis happens as a result of wear and tear. As a result, it is the most common type to affect people and it generally worsens with age. It can also happen as a result of obesity or injuries that put undue stress on joints. Joints that have to bear weight are affected the most, joints like hips, knees, and spine. It will make the affect joint hurt without making you feel sick or tired.

  • Why does it happen?

    • The shock absorber in your joints (cartilage) simply breaks down over time, leaving the bone and nerves exposed.
  • What does it feel like?

    • Movement becomes painful, the bones develop bumps and spurs, and you might even hear your joints creaking.

Turn to SINA

If you live with arthritis pain, there are multiple ways we can treat it. Contact us for back pain treatment in New Jersey!