The word “arthritis” is a combination of two words from the Greek language. “Arthros” meaning “a joint and its attachments.” The suffix “itis” means “inflammation of.” So, we have inflammation of the joints and its attachments. There can be many different kinds of arthritis or inflammations in the human body. This inflammation is often accompanied by pain, lack of mobility, and swelling. The soft tissues in the body surrounding the point of arthritic inflammation will swell. This swelling can put pressure on nerves to create tingling, numbness and pain.
Inflammation is another example of how the body takes care of itself. The goal of any inflammation is to rid the body of an invading pathogen or irritant. The biological response to something that will negatively impact the body is to begin to create an environment wherein the invading force cannot survive. The stronger the invader, the more acute is the inflammation. The word inflammation is from the Latin language meaning “I set alight” or “I ignite.”
Osteoarthritis or degenerative spinal arthritis is a condition in which cartilage surrounding the spinal facet joints begins to wear. These are commonly called bone spurs. These spurs impact the passing of nerve impulses and can result in a pinched nerve. These pinched nerves are then perceived as pain or a complete loss of sensation depending on the severity of the nerve impingement. This kind of biological situation can progress to further inflammation/arthritis and culminate in the locking of joints.
Spinal Rheumatoid Arthritis
Spinal rheumatoid arthritis is the result of an autoimmune disease where in the bodies’ immune system attacks the lining of the joints. This lining is called the synovia and as a result of this attack, less synovial fluid is dispersed along the surface of the joints. Less lubricant on the surface of the joint results in pain, stiffness, swelling, fever, and encroaching fatigue. Without this lubricant the joints can eventually become deformed resulting in more pain and an increase of other symptoms. Bone spurs also occur which can impact the smooth and accurate transfer of impulses between nerves.
The medical community will, in the beginning stages of treatment use massage, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, and bone manipulation as treatments. Surgery becomes necessary when symptoms cannot be relieved and a normal day cannot be lived due to the systemic issues arising from the arthritis.