Arthritis in Your Twenties

What is Arthritis of the Spine?

Arthritis of the spine is a very common condition that affects the spinal facet joints. In healthy joints, the bone surfaces are coated with protective cartilage that allows for smooth movement. A joint can become inflamed if its cartilage is torn, worn away, or otherwise damaged through trauma, causing a tiny nerve within the joint to transmit pain signals. Since the facet joints are very small relative to the amount of body weight they must bear, they are particularly susceptible to injury.

Many people associate arthritis solely with age-related degeneration. For this reason, the condition is often overlooked in children and young adults. This is concerning because spinal arthritis can develop at any age, and when left untreated, it can lead to serious problems down the road.

At BEST Health System, patient education is one of our top priorities. We believe that the only way to see significant results is by altering your lifestyle and habits to enforce a healthy spine. Continue reading to learn more about BEST Health System’s tips on managing your spinal arthritis at a young age. 

Symptoms to Look Out For

In individuals who are middle-aged and older, low back pain is the trademark symptom of arthritis of the spine. However, juvenile-onset arthritis can produce additional symptoms that are slightly less obvious. These include:

  • Persistent or recurrent joint pain, especially affecting the neck or back
  • Pain in the knees, ankles, and bottoms o,f the feet
  • Pain and stiffness that improves with physical activity, and worsens with immobility
  • Swelling in joints and other areas of the body, such as the places where ligaments attach to bone

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms at a young age, you should stay ahead on treatment. Typically, at a young age, treatment will consist of a few conservative therapies.  Neck and back pain can have many causes, and it’s important to find out exactly what’s going on so that you can be sure that you are addressing the problem in the best way possible.

While it can take some trial and error, many people who are diagnosed with arthritis of the spine find that they manage their discomfort without surgery. However, if your pain continues to worsen and nothing seems to help, you might consider a surgical procedure to relieve your symptoms by addressing their underlying cause.

Surgery with BEST Health System

At BEST Health System, our primary goal is always to help out patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Our surgical procedures offer many advantages compared to those of a traditional nature. With BEST, we typically access the target location through a less-than-one-inch incision and patients can return home the same day. 

At the BEST Cincinnati location, Dr. Keith Girton is our dedicated spine surgeon. He works directly with patients to find the treatment option that they will be most comfortable with. Whether this is one of our conservative therapies or a minimally invasive surgical procedure, we can help. Contact BEST Health System today to learn more about treatment with Dr. Keith Girton.