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I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

Acute back pain, which lasts between one and seven days, accounts for about 80% of all back pain. The other 20% is chronic back pain, and at least some cases of it are because of arthritis. 

The staff and team of experts at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates work to help patients understand both why they are experiencing pain and what options they have for managing it. Whether your back pain is the result of scoliosisspinal stenosisarthritis, or some other issue, we want to help you live the healthiest, most comfortable life possible. 

Osteoarthritis

If you do develop arthritis in your spine, it’s likely going to be osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis. Sometimes referred to as “wear-and-tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis is a result of aging. 

Over time, the cushioning in your joints begins to wear thin, which allows your bones to rub against each other. It can affect any joint in your body, including the joints of your spine. Along with the pain that comes from your vertebrae rubbing against each other, it’s common for bone spurs to develop.

Although anyone can develop osteoarthritis, it’s most common in people over the age of 50. Your genes can make it more likely you’ll develop it, and a sedentary lifestyle also raises your risk.

Symptoms of arthritis in your spine

Symptoms vary, but usually, if you develop arthritis in the spine, it affects your lower back or lumbar spine. You may experience some of the following symptoms: 

Depending on where in your spine you have arthritis and whether any of your nerves are affected, symptoms will vary. You may have some or all or even none of the symptoms above. In fact, some people have advanced spinal arthritis but no pain.

Treatments for spinal arthritis 

The experts at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates always carefully tailor your treatment plan to your situation. Many factors are important, including your overall health, your medical history, your pain level, occupation, activity level and so on.

In some instances, we may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), injections, other medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. Sometimes a combination of treatment approaches is most effective. 

For more advanced cases, our experts may recommend surgical intervention, such as spinal decompression or spinal fusion. Your doctor discusses all your options with you and is always happy to answer questions.

If you have ongoing back pain, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. We’re always happy to talk to you about what’s happening and provide an evaluation. 

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