Spinal Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

spinal arthritis

Spinal arthritis quick links:

Spinal arthritis can be a painful and debilitating problem for people over 40.

It causes stiffness and discomfort, which is usually more pronounced in the morning right when you wake up.

This is known as “first movement pain” and typically lasts for about 30 minutes.

The discomfort tends to lessen during the day as you go about your daily activities, then gets worse again at the end of the day.

This is likely because you’re not active during the night, which leads to fluid accumulating in the affected facet joint or joints. This fluid build-up causes swelling.

If spinal arthritis is left untreated, it can lead to physiological problems such as muscle breakdown or weakness.

It can cause psychological problems too… like anxiety and depression.

This is particularly common for people whose arthritis affects their quality of life or interferes with their ability to work.

Not everyone with spinal arthritis will experience pain in the same way.

Some experience low-grade chronic pain, while others may experience acute, sudden attacks of severe pain that limit their daily activities.

In the most serious cases, spinal arthritis sufferers are bedridden during acute attacks.

What is spinal arthritis?

Spinal arthritis occurs when the cartilage, joints and discs in your neck and lower back break down.

It can affect any part of your spinal column and typically occurs in the facet joints, or vertebral joints.

Your facet joints are located in the rear part of your spine.

They connect your vertebrae together and make it possible for you to do things like bend, twist and stretch.

These joints are particularly prone to arthritis because of the pressure they’re under every day.

When the cartilage breaks down in your facet joints (vertebral joints), daily activities can become more difficult.

If you have cervical arthritis, sometimes called “neck arthritis,” you will likely have pain in your neck and upper part of the spine.

Spinal osteoarthritis sufferers usually have neck pain as well as lower back pain. Low back pain can also be caused by lumbar arthritis.

What causes spinal arthritis?

Back muscles

In a word: imbalances.

These imbalances can occur in your stress levels, hormone levels and nutritional levels.

But most of the time when we talk about imbalances, we’re talking about muscle imbalances.

These muscle imbalances can negatively affect your posture, which can lead to neck and back pain.

The causes may vary from person to person, but common factors include degeneration in the bones, along with calcium build-up.

Learn how calcium is affecting your body in my our book, The Calcium Lie II, which you can download for free right here.

Sometimes, injuries or past spine surgery can lead to the onset of spinal arthritis.

Nerves become pinched or compacted, causing severe pain or numbness in the affected areas.

Many people who suffer from spinal arthritis of the spine will also be affected by herniated discs and bone spurs.

These bone spurs can put pressure on the nerves of your spinal column, which may cause weakness and pain in your arms and legs.

What are the symptoms of spinal arthritis?

spinal arthritis symptoms

Classic symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis include pain and numbness in the back, neck, head, and shoulders, particularly in the morning.

In more severe cases, where the spinal nerves or spinal cord are affected, it can cause numbness, weakness or tingling in your extremities.

Because people with spinal arthritis often experience pain or burning that shoots down through the hip and into the leg, doctors often misdiagnose it as nerve root pain.

Spinal arthritis symptoms may be different for different people, and the frequency and intensity can also vary.

Some areas may ache from time to time and be all right other times.

Bending and other everyday movements may also cause pain.

Numbness is the neck area is very common, although other areas, including the arms and legs, may also experience numbness.

In some cases, frequent urination or the urgent need to urinate may occur.

How is spinal arthritis diagnosed?


If you go to a traditional medical professional, he or she will go over your medical history and perform a physical exam.

During the physical exam, you may be asked to do a few simple exercises so your doctor can see if your range of motion has been affected.

These may include bending forward, side-to-side or backwards.

You also may be asked to lie down and raise your legs. Let your doctor if any of these movements causes pain.

Because symptoms of spinal arthritis are similar to other spine conditions, your doctor may order other tests to rule out other – possibly more serious – problems.

These tests may include blood tests, x-rays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT scans.

What are the most common spinal arthritis treatment options?

NSAID, pill

One common treatment option that your doctor may recommend is bracing or a cervical collar to restrict your movement.

If there’s no improvement after a period of time, your doctor may recommend spine surgery.

He or she will probably also prescribe a painkiller, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or prescription opioids such as codeine and morphine.

Why do most traditional spinal arthritis treatment options fail?

Back Pain Doctor

Most traditional treatment options fail to provide long-term pain relief because they only address your symptoms. They don’t address the underlying cause of your condition.

Pain medications are like a Band-Aid. They may ease some of your discomfort and reduce inflammation, but they do nothing to fix your condition. (And they come with some terrible side effects!)

Most doctors will tell you that developing spinal arthritis (or any other type of degenerative arthritis is just part of the aging process.

They’ll say it can’t be avoided.

And while it’s true that arthritis affects more than 90% of people over the age of 55 (and those numbers are expected to rise over the next few years), this does not mean that developing a degenerative arthritis is inevitable.

And it certainly doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of pain or that you’ll need to rely on Big Pharma’s “solutions” forever.

While there’s no magic bullet that works for everyone, there are a lot of simple, all-natural therapies you can use right now to relieve your pain.

6 suggested treatment options

The best way to achieve long-term results is to combine treatments. Here are a few of the most effective spinal arthritis treatments.

1. Try natural pain remedies

Fresh and Dried Turmeric

Big Pharma’s pain medications don’t have a great safety track record. And that’s putting it mildly.

In fact, in 2016, researchers found that anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and the prescription drug celecoxib re all equally dangerous for your heart.

On the other hand, natural pain relievers like white willow bark, bromelain, turmeric and devil’s claw have a safety track record that goes back thousands of years.

And studies show that herbs like these are at least as effective for reducing arthritis pain and inflammation.

2. Use heat and cold therapy

heating pad heating therapy

A hot or cold compress… which works better for pain relief? The answer is they both have their place.

Applying heat to the area of the back that hurts provides soothing pain relief for a lot of people. You can choose dry heat (like a heating pad) applied directly to the sore spots.

Or you can try moist heat, like a warm, moist towel or even a warm bath. The Healthy Back Institute offers a state-of-the-art heating pad that’s been shown to melt away pain and restore mobility in just 10 minutes.

On the other hand, using ice packs or a cold compress can help numb arthritis pain.You can alternate between the two, but feel free to use whatever method provides you with the most pain relief.

3. Exercise

exercise for arthritis

When it’s hard to move, the last thing you want to hear is the word “exercise.” But the research is compelling.

A recent study in the journal Arthritis Care & Research shows that as little as 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week can decrease pain and improve mobility for osteoarthritis patients.

Most of the patients involved in the study walked for exercise, so if that’s all you can do comfortably, that’s fine. No need to overexert yourself.

4. Get a massage

massage for spinal arthritis

Done properly, massages can bring much-needed relief for spinal arthritis sufferers.

There’s a growing body of research that shows that massage can help relieve many of the symptoms of arthritis — including stiffness, pain, mobility and overall function.

Make sure to find a licensed medical massage therapist and let them know that you have pain from spinal arthritis.

And don’t be afraid to put an end to the massage if you find that it hurts. We’re looking for pain relief, not more pain.

5. Try Inversion Therapy

Inversion therapy is an alternative treatment method that’s been shown to provide pain relief for many types of back pain. It can help with decompression and stress on the joints of the spine.

6. Try Muscle Balance Therapy™

The principles of treatment address both the pain and the cause of your pain.

Through strategic body assessments, your individual muscle imbalances can be identified.

Once that is done, a very targeted corrective program can be designed for your specific needs. You can learn more about muscle balance therapy by watching the video below, or clicking right here.

Watch how you can fix muscle imbalances to get lasting pain relief

Loading the player...

Filed Under:
Written By:  Updated:

Sign Up Now For LESS PAIN, MORE LIFE Our FREE E-Newsletter…

Kiss your pain goodbye when you sign up to receive our free, LIVE PAIN FREE email newsletter, which is always full of the latest and most powerful, pain relieving information from the world’s leading pain relief experts.

Sign Me Up!

We are 100% Anti-Spam Compliant

2 thoughts on “Spinal Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments”

  1. Ruth says:

    I suffer from spinal and shoulder pain these days worse is early morning hours I must get ou of bed also with the cold winter climate that makes me so helpless many mornings.I don’t get any treatment except trimadol tablets to relieve I’m chronic..diabetes. High blood..Buffalo hump behind neck..I wake up many nights with fingers being numb.its a awful experience

    1. Admin says:

      HI Ruth,

      Thank you for explaining your pain. We would suggest as a good starting point that you get yourself a copy of our book the “7 Day Back Pain Cure”. We believe that education is key to seeking relief from back pain and related pains and it will help you to consider options.

      The book discusses back pain issues along with related conditions, pain relief methods to try, various treatment options you can consider, pain relief suggestions, action plans and other helpful information for you when dealing with pain.

      Please read more details and information about the 7 Day Back Pain Cure book via the link below


      Our Best Wishes
      Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Symptoms, Causes and the Top 10 Arthritis of the Spine Treatments

arthritis of the spineSpondylosis, also known as arthritis of the spine, is said to be a “normal” part of getting older — a result of a lifetime’s worth of wear-and-tear on your spine, leading to degeneration and, often, pain. As a result, half of adults aged 65 years and older report having been diagnosed with arthritis, and an estimated one in five U.S. adults suffer from some form of the disease.[i]

When arthritis impacts your spine, it can be debilitating, even leading to muscle weakness and related psychological problems like anxiety and depression. Some suffer pain so excruciating they are unable to get out of bed or perform daily activities. That said, there are many options for treating arthritis of the spine — options that help address the underlying cause of the disease to encourage your body’s natural healing potential.

Are There Other Causes of Spinal Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is also known as degenerative joint disease because it occurs when the cartilage protecting your bones wears down, leading to inflammation and pain. Bone spurs may also develop, which causes your bones to rub painfully together.

As mentioned, these degenerative changes are most common as you get older, but there are other potential causes as well, including:

  • Past injuries or surgeries
  • Calcium build-up in your bones
  • Hobbies or activities that stress joints repeatedly
  • Genetic defects related to cartilage

Body-wide imbalances in your stress levels, hormone levels and nutrition may also trigger or exacerbate joint degeneration. Even muscle imbalances, such as weak core muscles, can negatively impact your posture, leading to neck and back pain, and furthering degeneration.

Classic Signs of Arthritis of the Spine

If you have arthritis of the spine, you may have back pain that comes and goes, along with stiffness and pain in your joints. Often, spinal stiffness and pain are worst in the morning, such as when you first get out of bed, and may improve somewhat after gentle exercises or stretches.

For some, however, spinal arthritis can lead to pain that radiates down into your buttocks, thighs or pelvic area, or spreads to your shoulders or neck. Others may have weakness or numbness in their neck, arms or legs, along with a limited range of motion that makes it difficult to bend over or walk.

Some people even hear a crunching sound when their bones rub together, and others experience frequent urination associated with arthritis of the spine. In severe cases, the debilitating pain can lead to social and emotional problems, particularly if it hinders your ability to work or engage in daily activities.

Because the pain of spinal arthritis often varies in frequency and intensity, even within one individual, and can mimic other types of back problems, your physician will most likely use your medical history along with exercises designed to test your range of motion to aid in diagnosis. Sometimes x-rays or MRIs are also used.

What Can You do to Relieve Arthritis of the Spine?

Conventional treatments for arthritis of the spine include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as well as pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), codeine and morphine. Your doctor may also recommend you restrict movement of your neck and back with a cervical collar or other bracing, and in severe cases surgery is sometimes suggested.

The problem with these conventional treatment approaches is that they are geared toward eliminating symptoms, while the underlying degeneration continues to progress. Long-term use of NSAIDs and pain medications can also cause serious side effects, including gastrointestinal risks and heart and liver problems. To that end, if you are looking for symptom relief, there are natural, non-drug approaches that can help, including:

  • Hot or cold compresses
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Heal-n-Soothe, a natural anti-inflammatory cream that contains 12 of the most powerful and safest anti-pain ingredients
  • Yoga and relaxation therapy

Ultimately, however, you will want to address the underlying causes of the spinal degeneration so your body has a chance to heal and recover, or at the very least slow the process of degeneration.

For instance, exercise can help improve osteoarthritis by strengthening your muscles and joints, and improving flexibility and range of motion. A physical therapist or qualified personal trainer can help you develop a safe exercise plan tailored to your fitness level.

In order to achieve long-term results, you should expect to combine a number of treatment approaches to determine which work best for you as an individual. With the free LosetheBackPain.com newsletter, you’ll have access to a treasure trove of back pain tips and treatment options that you may not have heard about before. Among them:

  • Muscle Balance Therapy, which can help generate balance and stability in your pelvis and spine, and minimize excessive wear and tear of the disc and other joints of your spine
  • Far Infrared Heat, which is deep penetrating and longer lasting for pain relief and to increase joint range of motion

Unlike most treatments, which only offer temporary symptom relief, these options target the underlying causes of your pain, often leading to complete pain relief even among chronic back pain sufferers.

To learn more, join the hundreds of thousands of other readers of the FREE LosetheBackPain.com newsletter by entering your primary email on this page — and start your journey to becoming pain free today.


[i] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arthritis-Related Statistics


Filed Under: Arthritis
Written By:  Updated:
my avatar

Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

Sign Up Now For LESS PAIN, MORE LIFE Our FREE E-Newsletter…

Kiss your pain goodbye when you sign up to receive our free, LIVE PAIN FREE email newsletter, which is always full of the latest and most powerful, pain relieving information from the world’s leading pain relief experts.

Sign Me Up!

We are 100% Anti-Spam Compliant

5 thoughts on “Symptoms, Causes and the Top 10 Arthritis of the Spine Treatments”

  1. Nancy Carlisle says:

    There are still other help’s for back pain I wish you would cover.And when your pain is severe, Heal and soothe is not near enough. I could not get by a day without my heating pad, for example. I have had such good relief with swimming or just light exercises in the heated pool. but exercise’s are very important. There’s more… Thank’s Nancy

  2. carolyn koch says:

    I would like you to review radio frequency denervation, epdurals, and nerve blocks – pain management therapies that can be used carefully by qualified doctors or pain management specialists. Thank you.

  3. Percy Ostrye says:

    Always very informative. I read some articles from here and i must say this one is the best.

  4. Marguerite Tulett says:

    I would like to get the Losethe backpain newsletter

  5. Admin says:

    Thank you for your query. All you need to do to receive our newsletter is to go to the top of the page just under where it says

    “Love our website? Get More Free Pain Relief Tips From Us!”

    You will see boxes where you can enter your first name & email and click “subscribe” then you will receive the newlsletters.

    Thank you
    Admin (THBI)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.