Spine Services

Exceptional Care for Patients with Arthritis in Spine

The joints of the spine (backbone) make it possible for us to stand, walk, bend, twist and stretch. A flexible substance called cartilage acts as a cushion between each of the small bones (vertebra) that make up the spine and facilitates smooth, pain-free movement. If this cartilage breaks down due to age, overuse or disease, it can lead to spinal arthritis with symptoms of inflammation, stiffness, severe pain and restricted mobility.


Your health is important. Don’t delay care.

If the pain and symptoms of spine arthritis are limiting your ability to enjoy life, we can help. Call 216-286-8888 today to schedule an appointment with a UH spine specialist.

Advanced Diagnosis and Treatments for Spinal Arthritis

In addition to a physical exam and medical history, your spine specialist can often confirm a diagnosis of spine arthritis through a simple X-ray exam. To obtain more detailed information, the following tests may also be ordered:

  • Blood tests to look for genetic markers and/or rheumatoid arthritis antibodies
  • Additional imaging exams (MRI, CT, Bone scan) to pinpoint the exact location and extent of the damage or to rule out other possible causes

If a diagnosis of spine arthritis is confirmed, your UH spine specialist will develop a personalized treatment plan based on your age, general overall health and the severity of your symptoms. Although there is no cure, treatments can improve joint function, keep joint pain and inflammation to a minimum and prevent further damage. Your treatment plan may include:


Types of Spinal Arthritis

Arthritis can develop in any joint of the body, including the spinal vertebrae. The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disorder where the body attacks and destroys joint cartilage.
  • Osteoarthritis: A wear-and-tear disorder in which the cartilage weakens and breaks down over time. Also called degenerative joint disease, it is the most common type of arthritis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the joints and the areas where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones. When it occurs in the spine, it is called ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In severe cases, it can lead to several vertebra fusing together.

Several factors can increase your risk of developing arthritis of the spine. These include excess weight, menopause, diabetes, genetics, previous injuries and repetitive movements from certain occupations or activities that put excess stress on the spine.


Exceptional, Multidisciplinary Care for Spinal Arthritis

The UH team of spine specialists have the expertise and experience to provide patients with the highest level of care for spinal arthritis. In fact, our spine program is one of only 20 programs in the country to be designated a Center of Excellence by the National Spine Institute.

We draw upon the expertise of a wide variety of clinical specialists to devise personalized treatment plans for each patient who comes to us for care. Your team may include:

  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Rheumatologists
  • Physiatrists
  • Primary care doctor
  • Psychologists or psychiatrists
  • Rehabilitation nurses
  • Recreational therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Vocational therapists
  • Social workers

Make an Appointment

Your health is important. Don’t delay care.

Offering in-person, video and telephone visits. Call today to see which option is right for you.

216-286-8888

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