The most common root cause of chronic joint pain, arthritis can affect anyone at any age. If the misery of aching joints and burning pain is affecting your quality of life, interventional pain management physician Nicolas Maxymiv, DO, of Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center can help. At their Midlothian, Virginia, location, Dr. Maxymiv and his colleagues deliver compassionate care and the latest treatments for people with arthritis, including arthritis of the spine. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
The term arthritis covers numerous diseases, all of which cause joint pain. Some forms, like gout, tend to attack specific joints, whereas others affect multiple joints. The two most common forms of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis is most common in older people, typically starting to cause symptoms from middle age. The condition is due to wear-and-tear of the cartilage protecting the ends of your bones, which erodes over the years to expose the bone. Without protection, the bones in your joints develop inflammation and stiffness, eventually becoming weak and distorted.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more likely to develop at a younger age. Its cause is autoimmune, which means your immune system starts to attack cells in your body as though they were invading microorganisms. The result is inflammation and damage of the joint linings.
You might think that because arthritis is a disease of the joints, it wouldn't affect your spine; however, there's a series of small joints linking the vertebrae that are susceptible to arthritis.
The facet joints can develop osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other arthritic conditions and are a common cause of chronic back pain. As the joints deteriorate, your body reacts by producing osteophytes — growths called bone spurs meant to strengthen the weakened spine.
Unfortunately, more often than not, bone spurs add to the problem. They constrict the spinal canal, causing spinal stenosis, and may press on spinal nerves, causing radiculopathy.
Spinal osteoarthritis often develops alongside degenerative disc disease, another wear-and-tear condition. The spongy discs that cushion and stabilize your spine dry out over the years, becoming stiffer and thinner.
This compounds the arthritic pain and stiffness in your back and often leads to disc herniation.
Arthritis is a disease that generally worsens over time, and as of yet, there's no cure. However, Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center offers a range of effective therapies that can relieve pain, reduce stiffness, and slow down the progression of your arthritis.
Potential treatments include:
Staying active, losing weight if you're overweight or obese, and making healthy diet and lifestyle choices can all help reduce the severity of your symptoms and keep you mobile for longer.
Don't struggle alone with arthritis; call Richmond Spine Interventions and Pain Center today or book an appointment online.