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6 Causes of Spinal Arthritis

Arthritis affects approximately 80% of people over the age of 55 in the United States. By the year 2020, over 60 million people will suffer from this often-disabling problem. Arthritis generally causes tenderness, pain, swelling and stiffness of joints as well abnormalities of various soft tissues of the body.

A normal joint is covered by cartilage and is lubricated by synovial fluid. A joint has little friction and moves very easily. Degeneration of the joint occurs when cartilage becomes rough and worn out causing the joints to rub against each other. This causes inflammation, pain and the formation of bone spurs. The surrounding tissues of the joint become inflamed and swollen. 

Causes of spinal arthritis:

  • Aging
  • Use and abuse of bones and joints
  • Genetics
  • Immunologic
  • Injuries
  • Obesity


  • Transient back pain
  • Morning stiffness
  • Low back pain that may radiate into the lower extremities
  • Pain in any joint area
  • A crunching feeling or sound of bones rubbing
  • Weakness or numbness of the arms and legs
  • Spinal deformity
  • Limited range of motion, difficulty walking or bending


  • History
  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Sometimes joint aspiration


  • Resting of the joint
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Exercise
  • Medication (oral or injectable)
  • Surgery
  • Weight loss

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment, please call us on (713) 523-8884

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

One response to “6 Causes of Spinal Arthritis”

  1. Cornell says:

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you’re not more popular because you have the gift definitely.

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