When Back Pain is Arthritis

Back pain is one of the most common complaints expressed by adults of all ages. It may result from an injury or may occur without much evidence as to why. This is what can make back pain difficult to understand. However, some symptoms can provide clues regarding a potential underlying cause. Here, we outline some signs that could indicate spinal arthritis.

Pain Continues to Worsen

When back pain results from a sprain or strain, it tends to go through an acute phase and then an improvement stage. Over time, the pain gets better. Spinal arthritis is a progressive condition that involves the degeneration of spinal structures. The breakdown does not reverse on its own so, if treatment is not ongoing, pain continues to get worse.

Difficulty Sleeping

Arthritic joints are stiff and painful. Discomfort can heighten when lying down due to variance in gravitational force across the spine. Usually, people expect their back pain to ease somewhat when they lie down. If pain makes it difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep, you may want to talk to a specialist to determine if you have spinal arthritis. Often, the sleep issue makes managing back pain even more challenging. Professional intervention can put an end to this cycle.

Worsening Stiffness

Joint stiffness is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. After a long day in the car or at work, the back may feel sore and stiff. This is something most people would experience. Spinal arthritis can cause stiffness after short breaks from physical activity. If normal activities have become more difficult due to back stiffness, talk to a doctor. Often, minor lifestyle adjustments can help.

Pain in Other Joints

The pain and stiffness that affect the spine could coincide with joint pain in other areas. This may not be because those joints are also arthritic but that back pain has altered your gait. When we hurt, we may not walk straight and stable. An imbalanced gait places disproportionate stress on various joints, like the hips and knees. If back pain often occurs alongside other aches and pains, talk to a spine specialist about conservative remedies.

Persistent back pain and stiffness are not symptoms you should power through. To get more information about why you may be living with pain and what you can do about it, schedule a consultation with NYC spinal specialist Dr. Todd Albert. Call 212-6060-1004 today.

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