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Preventing and Treating Arthritis of the Spine
Preventing and Treating Arthritis of the Spine

Around 80 percent of adults experience low back pain during their lifetime.1 The majority of back pain occurs as a result of a one-time event rather than a chronic condition. It's time to seek a diagnosis when back pain persists for weeks or months. Although arthritis in the back is common, many people are unaware it's a possible cause of back pain. 

Degenerative changes in the spine due to arthritis are common as we age. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of spinal arthritis. Our spines become stressed and strained by obesity, insufficient physical activity, and injuries. It is possible to slow down arthritis progression and prevent it. 

Here are some helpful prevention tips:

Movement: Flexible, powerful back and neck muscles reduce pressure on vertebral discs and facet joints, limiting arthritis progression. Exercising and stretching can reduce your chances of arthritis developing and progressing. 

Lose Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress and pressure on the joints while losing excess pounds can improve functionality and ease pain. 

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy successfully treats most types of back pain. Often, back pain results from weak muscles in your back and core. Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles and create better mobility within the joints. 

There are many different ways to treat spinal arthritis: 

Medications: Inflammation and pain associated with arthritis can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

Injections: Various injection types may be tried for back pain, beginning with the most conservative steroidal options. 

Radiofrequency Ablation: Treats chronic back and neck pain and joint degeneration from arthritis. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain by blocking pain signals. 

Surgery: Surgical intervention on the spine may be necessary if the nerves are at risk or if back pain is severe enough to be disabling. 

Remember that arthritis in the back does not have to prevent you from living an active and healthy lifestyle. Those seeking proper medical attention can lead happy and functional lives with minimal pain. Arthritis is preventable and treatable. Schedule an appointment today to diagnose your back pain.

The Spine Institute at Newport Care Medical is a leader in comprehensive surgical and non-surgical treatment of the spine. The orthopedic spine surgeons at the Spine Institute at Newport Care located in Newport Beach, California specialize in acute and chronic neck, back, and musculoskeletal injuries.


  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • National Association of Secretaries of State
  • American Podiatric Medical Association