Osteoarthritis is mainly characterized by pain and stiffness in the joints, but, in reality, not all people with osteoarthritis have pain and disability. The stiffness and pain tend to worsen in the morning (particularly for about 30 minutes after waking up) and again in the afternoon, often called “pain of the first movement” with improvements during the day as the person performs his daily activities. Pain that disrupts sleep is often an indicator.
Other symptoms may include the following:
- Swelling or warmth in one or more joints, particularly during climatic changes (which may be related to changes in atmospheric pressure and cooler air)
- Localized tenderness when the joint or affected area of the spine is pressed
- Sustained or intermittent pain in a joint, often described as fixed and continuous pain. The pain may worsen with movement
- Loss of flexibility of a joint, such as inability to bend over and pick something off the floor
- Sense of sound bone compression or other bone scraping when the joint (called crepitus) moves, particularly noticeable in the neck
- An abnormal curve in the spine that can be caused by a muscle spasm unbalanced
7.A pinching sensation, tingling, or numbness in the nerve of the spinal cord, which can occur when bone spurs form on the edge of the spinal joints and irritate nerves.
- The pain of osteoarthritis increases with time
- Osteoarthritis usually develops over time. At first, the person may just feel joint pain after physical activity or exercise, it disappears and then returns as the affected joint is normally used or excess. As the cartilage between the bones becomes thinner each time, the pain often becomes more permanent and difficult to walk or climb stairs.
10.The pain and joint stiffness may occur after long periods of inactivity, such as while sitting for long trips or watching a movie two hours. With advanced osteoarthritis and increased friction between the bones, pain often becomes important, even at rest or with every little movement.
- With progressive osteoarthritis, initially a single joint can be affected, but over time and activities, can affect many joints: the base of the neck or knees, hips, hands and / or feet.
- While it is less common, some patients may experience severe deformities in certain joints over time. Osteoarthritis differs from systemic forms of arthritis that affects the joints only (although it can cause nerve entrapment at any level in the spine or spinal cord in the neck) and does not affect the organs or soft tissue areas of the body.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the lower back (lumbar spine)
As with other joints with arthritis, pain in the lower back it is usually more pronounced in the morning and worsens again near the end of the day. The pain diminishes during the day as normal movements of the person moving the lubricating fluid in the joints. The pain in the lower back can usually radiate (“referred pain”) to pelvis, buttocks, or thighs and sometimes the groin.
The irritation of a nerve by a herniated disc or bone spurs can cause weakness, numbness, tingling, and / or leg pain that often radiate foot. Arthritis causes spinal stenosis or a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back can cause related to the exercise or walk on both legs symptoms.
Pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis of the neck (cervical spine)
Neck pain from osteoarthritis again tends to be worse in the morning and evening, with improvements during the day. This pain often radiating to the shoulder, between the shoulder blades, and up through the neck and causes headache.
With nerve entrapment or herniated disc, there may also be weakness or numbness in one hand, some fingers, or in some cases both arms. The compression of the spinal cord in the neck may even cause trouble walking as well as control bladder or bowel in severe cases.
Conditions that are often Confused with Osteoarthritis
Because other conditions appear similar to osteoarthritis of the spine, particularly when symptoms are at their worst, it is important to get an accurate clinical diagnosis from a specialist in medicine or surgery of the spine doctor.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
It often affects several joints in a symmetrical pattern (affecting both sides of the body). Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and can affect other tissues or organs. Therefore, when rheumatoid arthritis worsens, symptoms may include fatigue, poor appetite, fever, pains in muscles and joints, and stiffness, again most notably in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Joints, usually in the hands, wrists, and feet often become red, swollen, painful and sensitive.
- Degenerative disc disease
Osteoarthritis also often confused or associated with degenerative disc disease (or spondylosis), a gradual deterioration of one or more disks between the vertebrae of the spine. This is due to osteoarthritis and degenerated discs are commonly together. However, conditions are different and it is important to know what anatomical changes in the column is the actual cause of pain or disability of the patient.
An X-ray shows degenerative disc disease as a narrowing of normal disc space between adjacent vertebrae. An MRI can show early changes of loss of water content on the disc. Tissue degeneration of the disc increases their susceptibility to protrude or herniated. Disc degeneration can occur at any level of the spine and may cause strain in the affected area with radiating pain along the nerves that emerge from the spinal canal at the area level.
The systematic lumbar disc degeneration is more common in people of the working population, usually between 30 and 50 years. After 50 or 60 years, the affected spinal area really tends to stabilize and is less likely to cause degenerative disc disease pain. In general, it cannot match the disc degeneration or the formation of bone spurs in pain and disability, and that approximately 85% of people with this type of X-ray findings or positron have no clinically significant back problems.
Osteoporosis, or low calcium in the bones, is another condition that does not cause chronic back pain, but can lead to this. With osteoporosis, particularly more common in postmenopausal women, the loss of bone mineral (calcium) can weaken bones in various parts of the body, especially in the hip and spine. spine fractures with compression (squeezing) of the vertebral bodies can occur.
The pain of a spinal fracture due to osteoporosis can last several weeks while the bone heals, and then usually becomes a chronic pain concentrated in the back area where the fracture occurred. This pain can be similar to the feeling reported by people with osteoarthritis. To diagnose osteoporosis bone density test, which measures bone mass, preferably made of a long bone and vertebral body is used. Usually an x-ray can identify a compression fracture in the spine. Because treatments for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are very different, it is essential to receive an accurate diagnosis.