Arthritis back pain is one of many possible, but not inherent, symptoms of this universal degenerative condition. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, describes deterioration of the joints in the body. Some doctors call it a disease, some a condition and some simply believe it is a normal part of aging. Facts support the last type of opinion as being the most valid. We all have it at some point in life. The question is how soon and how severe it may develop.
There are many different forms of arthritis, but in this article, we will focus on osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease. We will explore the reasons why some patients get back or neck symptoms in relation to their arthritic change, while many others suffer no serious discomfort at all, now or ever.
Arthritis in the spine is characterized by the destruction of the protective cartilage in the joints. In spinal osteoarthritis, the protective measures in between the vertebral joints are slowly degenerated. Although this may sound horrible, it is rarely a painful condition.
As we age, arthritis is a completely inherent part of our life cycle. It is rarely to blame as a primary cause of elderly back pain. It is even less common to be symptomatic in younger people, although this is not an absolute by any means. There are some factors that can contribute to an acceleration of the arthritic process or an increased likelihood for experiencing painful symptoms:
Repetitive stress scenarios can cause the anatomical changes to progress faster than normal. People with repetitive motion jobs often suffer from advanced arthritis symptoms at a much earlier age.
Genetics play a big part in arthritis symptoms. Some people are naturally predisposed to more active arthritic processes due to their genes.
Back injuries that never fully or properly heal will be possible locations for severe arthritis pain. Arthritis is an opportunistic condition that will usually attack weakened areas of the body first.
Symptomatic osteoarthritis is characterized by mostly dull aching pain, localized and typically non-visible inflammation and stiffness. Sometimes redness, burning heat or overall tenderness will be present in the affected joints.
Spinal arthritis is a condition that might create pain, limited mobility and fatigue. It must be noted that mild to moderate arthritis is not a definitive cause of any pain in most people. In essence, they will demonstrate the structural changes of arthritis, but will not suffer from it to a noticeable or debilitating degree.
Back ache due to arthritis is a completely normal condition to experience as we get older. Most people do not suffer anything more than a few minor aches and pains. It is important to keep perspective on just how common this condition is.
If a patient believes that they have a disease, then I can assure you, they will get sick. A good doctor will always inform their patients that common spinal osteoarthritis is nothing to fear. If not, the patient is bound to suffer a powerful nocebo effect from the diagnosis. If the mind is relaxed and informed, the body will not suffer.
I have personally worked with many students who suffer from arthritis back pain. I started to develop bad OA in one hand at the age of 35. Unfortunately, all the years of training and injuries have taken their toll on the joints in that hand. Sometimes it hurts, but I laugh it off. I am confident that it will not progress, since I do not allow it to have any power over me.
Actually my symptoms are much kinder now than when they first started. It is as if the condition was testing me to see how much it could get into my head. When I closed the door, the arthritis just about gave up. This is a valuable lesson to learn and to apply for all things related to your health. Look at arthritis as an annoying old friend that just hangs around. Humor it and it might become as gentle as a baby. Fear it, loath it, or bow before it, and you will be controlled by this mighty tyrant.
At this stage I also have arthritis in my spine and in several major joints in my body. Being that my pain is severe and widespread, it is difficult to know if it is a contributor or not. Instinct tells me no, since of all my structural issues, it is by far the least severe.