17 early signs of arthritis in the back
- Wear and tear
- Excess weight
- Autoimmune disorders
- Poor posture at work
- Professions involving lifting heavy machines or loads
Some of the early signs of arthritis in the back include
- Back pain - especially in the lower back - tends to be worse in the morning, particularly 30 minutes after waking up. The pain subsides with activity as the day progresses.
- Back stiffness
- Intermittent joint pain that may be aggravated by motion
- Pain and swelling in other areas of the body (inflammatory arthritis)
- Pain that disturbs sleep is often an indicator of osteoarthritis
- Swelling and tenderness in one or more joints and these changes may also be triggered by weather changes
- Feeling of bone grinding or rubbing when moving the spine
- Loss of flexibility of the joints mainly experienced as an inability to bend or pick something off the floor
- Whole-body weakness
- A sensation of pinching, tingling or numbness in a nerve or along the spinal cord
- Bone soreness in the lower spine
- Burning sensation after physical activity
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased range of motion
- Bone spurs (extra bits of bone around the affected joints that feel like hard lumps)
Some of the late signs of arthritis in the back include
- Pain that radiates to the arms and legs
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Loss of coordination or changes in the ability to walk
- Severe back spasm
- Kyphosis (humped spine deformity)
What are the different types of arthritis that affect the back?
There are several types of arthritis. The different types of arthritis that may affect the back or neck include
- Osteoarthritis of the spine: This is noninflammatory, degenerative arthritis. It is the most common form of arthritis that affects the back. Wear and tear seem to be the reason that osteoarthritis develops.
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine: This is an autoimmune disorder where the lining of the joints is affected. It’s a type of inflammatory arthritis because wear and tear on the joints is not involved.
- Fibromyalgia: This causes chronic, widespread muscle pain and fatigue.
- Spondyloarthritis: This is a group of inflammatory diseases that affects both the joints and the areas where the ligaments and tendons are attached to the bones. There are several forms of spondyloarthritis, including
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This is a type of spinal arthritis that causes inflammation of the vertebrae and the joints at the base of the spine.
- Psoriatic arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder triggered by psoriasis and it is characterized by an itchy, scaly rash.
- Reactive arthritis: In this type of arthritis, a gastrointestinal or genital infection probably triggers joint inflammation. It usually affects the lower back.
- Enteropathic arthritis: This is a type of arthritis linked to inflammatory bowel disease.
- Undifferentiated spondyloarthritis
- Juvenile spondyloarthritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica: An inflammatory disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and stiffness.
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