Arthritis is a spinal condition where the joints or the points where bones connect to each other get inflammated. This condition can take place in one or more areas of the body. There are different types like spinal arthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis and according to reports there are almost 100 different types of arthritis, all with different causes as well as different methods. Arthritis symptoms may appear gradually or they may occur suddenly. This disease is usually found in people over the age of 65, however sometimes it can also occur in children as well as teens.

How Arthritis Develops in the Thoracic Spine

In the thoracic spine, arthritis usually takes place due to osteoarthritis. In this type of arthritis the normal amount of cartilage is reduced.  One of the causes of this phenomena is the wear and tear of the spinal column with age, during which the cartilage in the facet joints become thin or disappear, which can cause bone spurs as well as enlargement of the joints in the thoracic column.  This also leads to thoracic back pain, tenderness, swelling, nerve compression as well as limited range of motion.  Upper back pain from osteoarthritis can cause the patient a lot of pain as well as discomfort, which is why treatment becomes a necessity so further worsening of the condition can be avoided.

Seeking Treatment for Arthritis

arthritisAlthough treatment includes both surgical and non-surgical options, the doctors prefer taking up non-surgical treatment options initially and surgery is only considered when conservative treatment options fail to provide any relief to the patient.  These non-surgical options include:

  • Medications – NSAIDs, Opioids and corticosteroids
  • Physical Therapy – Strengthening exercises, core stabilizing exercises, low impact aerobic exercises and range of motion exercises
  • Traction

Surgery is usually done in the form of joint fusion when the condition is extremely severe in the fingers and wrists.