“Arthritis” describes many different diseases that cause tenderness, pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. With osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, the cartilage around the joint wears out, causing the bones in the joint to rub together, creating inflammation and pain.
Most forms of arthritis can occur in any joint, including spine joints. Osteoarthritis of the spine can lead to lost flexibility, bone spurs (osteophytes), irritated nerves, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. The terms spondylosis or degenerative joint disease are used interchangeably with osteoarthritis.
- Back pain that comes and goes
- Spinal stiffness in the morning, such as after getting out of bed or after physical activity
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness in the neck
- Lower back pain that runs down into the buttocks, thighs, or pelvic area
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulders, hips, knees, or heels
- A crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing against bone
- Weakness or numbness in legs or arms
- Limited range of motion and difficulty bending or walking