How To Tell If Your Back Pain is a Result of Arthritis

It’s a major pain. Chronic back pain afflicts approximately one third of Americans. That’s over 115 million people! What makes this even worse is that most of these people assume their pain is just the lingering effect of stress, injured muscles, or something similar. However, one thing that many people do not attribute their chronic back pain to is arthritis.

Various forms of arthritis are common in many adults. Osteoarthritis, the general wear and tear over time, affects roughly 95 percent of people over the age of 50. Osteoarthritis of the spine, also known as spondylosis, affects about 15 percent of adults in America. The important part is knowing how to determine when your pain is a result of arthritis. Here are a few signs to help you determine if your pain is a result of arthritis:

Pain Gradually Worsens Over Time – Back pain that is a result of osteoarthritis often sets in gradually and then builds over time. If your back pain comes on suddenly and the pain is hard to manage, you are likely suffering from something else, such as pulled muscles.

Neck Pain That Moves to Your Shoulders and Arms – If your back pain is a result of osteoarthritis, you may likely suffer from pain radiating from your neck into your shoulders and arms. When back pain is from a muscle injury, the pain is more likely going to be contained to one area.

Numbness In Your Legs – Much like the pain that can radiate from your neck, back pain resulting from osteoarthritis can cause pain and numbness to radiate down a sufferer’s legs. Overtime, osteoarthritis can cause narrowing in the spinal canal and can eventually pinch the spinal cord or the surrounding nerves. This results in pain or numbness spreading down the back and into the legs.

These are not the only signs to determine if your back pain is being caused by arthritis, but they do provide a good starting point. If you have any other questions regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us!