Spinal Arthritis

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Spinal Arthritis

Osteoarthritis of the spine occurs when the cartilage between your vertebrae starts to break down. Cartilage is present between the vertebrae in your neck and spinal column and acts as a cushion or barrier between them. As the cartilage breaks down, your vertebrae start to rub together, which causes extreme pain and discomfort. Osteoarthritis of the spine can also put pressure on the nerves in your spinal cord and cause pain and numbness to other parts of your body.


There are three stages of spinal osteoarthritis, each getting progressively worse. It’s important to catch your condition early and pursue corrective measures.

  • Stage 1
    Breakdown begins of the cartilage covering the surfaces of your joints. You’ll feel periodic bouts of stiffness and pain when you move too much.
  • Stage 2
    Your cartilage will start to harden and produce bone spurs. Pain and stiffness are much worse during stage 2.
  • Stage 3
    During stage 3, your cartilage will become completely diseased, damaged, or worn away. This is the final and most painful stage of spinal osteoarthritis, and you’ll need surgery to repair stage 3 damage.


Treating the pain and condition of spinal osteoarthritis uses a combination of exercises, non-surgical treatments, and surgical treatments. Most cases of osteoarthritis of the spine don’t require surgery, but extreme ones do. Here are some treatment options and osteoarthritis of the spine exercises available to you.

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Cold and hot compresses
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Nutritional supplements and medications


If these measures aren’t enough to take away your osteoarthritis or the accompanying symptoms, you may have to resort to surgery. Spinal osteoarthritis surgery is more commonly referred to as spinal fusion and results in two or more of your vertebra being permanently fused.

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