Arthritis of the spine - Description and treatment

Do you feel back pain for longer periods of time? Is your mobility decreasing? Are you losing appetite and feel tired? Arthritis can be at fault. Back pain, especially long-term, calls for a doctor’s appointment. Timely diagnosis of the cause is essential to affecting the progression of the illness.

Warning:Do not use this or any other article on the internet to diagnose yourself. Only physicians can correctly diagnose patients. Do not postpone seeing your physician to resolve your health issues in time.

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Arthritis of the spine -  description, treatment
Picture : Arthritis of the spine

Characteristics of Arthritis of the Spine and its Causes

Arthritis of the spine is a rheumatoid (inflammatory) disease.

It can be in the form of inflammation of spinal joints during rheumatoid arthritis. In these case, cervical spine joints are most commonly affected. It can also be  Bekhterev’s disease, gout arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis of spinal joints is most often accompanied by the symptoms of increased temperature, pain, sensitivity to touch, and swelling in the area of the affected joint. Stiffness of the joint can completely limit mobility for up to a few hours.

Stiffness is usually present in the morning. The joint gets deformed during arthritis, which can lead to severe mobility limitation. Insufficient activity then leads to weakening of tissues around the joint and later, the whole body of the affected person. Deformed joints can lose mobility altogether.

Bekhterev’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the spinal column, with the symptoms of stiffness and pain of the spine. It has a long and gradually worsening development. It most commonly manifests itself between the ages of 15 and 30 and more frequently in men.

The specific cause of these diseases remains unclear.

The main damaging mechanism is chronic intra-articular inflammation. In cases of Bekhterev’s disease, heredity plays a role.

Arthritis of the Spine Treatment – Rid yourself of the Pain

The main goal of treatment is to decelerate the inflammatory processes. For this purpose, non-steroid anti-rheumatics are often used. This group of drugs has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Inflammation can also be supressed by administering corticosteroids.

Joint mobility is also is maintained through physical rehabilitation and spa treatment.

Arthritis of the spine treatment utilises similar methods to the ones other types of joint arthritis use.

Drug treatment in the form of non-steroid anti-rheumatics is used. Inflammation can be supressed in its development by administering corticosteroids.

Apart from conventional synthetic disease modifying anti-rheumatics (most commonly methotrexate) there are other substances in the group of biological and targeted synthetic disease modifying drugs (e.g. anti-TNF-α antibodies, biological medicaments with a different mechanism effect, targeted synthetic inhibitors, etc.) These drugs can be used individually or in combination.

  • Non-steroid antirheumatics – non-steroid medicament with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effect.
  • corticosteroids – corticoid (produced in the adrenal cortex) hormones with anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Bekhterev’s disease – chronic spondyloarthritis.

Physical rehabilitation and spa treatment promotes mobility of affected joints, decelerates progression of the disease and supresses some of the symptoms – mainly pain and swelling.

A wide range of methods is used – from gymnastics, through physical therapy (massages, baths, local application of cold – cryotherapy), utilising electric current, magnetic field to polarised light. Surgical treatment offers yet more options.

Within the rehabilitation treatment low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy has its place in treating some symptoms of arthritis of the joints as it utilises the analgesic, anti-swelling and healing effects with the support of anti-inflammatory effect.

Home applications are a huge convenience which allows the patient to continue intensive rehabilitation at home, out of hospital facilities.