The lower back is the most common site of back arthritis pain. While any part of the back can be affected, the lower back is arthritis hips and spine most common site of arthritis back pain, most likely because it bears more of the body’s weight. Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the spine, particularly the sacroiliac joints near the pelvis, and the hip joints.
Ankylosing is a term meaning stiff or rigid and spondylitis means inflammation of the spine. Reactive arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis that often occurs following an infection of the genital, urinary or gastrointestinal system. Features of reactive arthritis include inflammation of the joints, eyes and structures within the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tracts, such as intestines, kidneys or bladder. Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis accompanied by the skin disease psoriasis. For about 20 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis, the disease involves the spine. In some cases, bony overgrowth can cause two or more vertebrae to grow together, or fuse, causing stiffness.
In addition to affecting the spine, they may cause pain and inflammation in the joints of the pelvis, hips, ankles and knees. They may also affect other body organs such as the eyes, skin and bowels. This is a form of arthritis that occurs in about 5 percent of people with inflammatory bowel disease, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It commonly affects the sacroiliac joints, causing lower back pain. The most common form of arthritis of the back, osteoarthritis is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones where they meet to form joints. In the spine, this breakdown occurs in the cartilage of the facet joints, where the vertebrae join.
As a result, movement of the bones can cause irritation, further damage and the formation of bony outgrowths called spurs. These spurs can press on nerves, causing pain. New bone formation can also lead to narrowing of the spinal canal, known as spinal stenosis. Although rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the hips, knees, hands, wrists, feet, elbows and ankles, it can also affect the facet joints in the spine, causing pain and, in severe cases, destruction of the joints.
This may allow the upper vertebra to slide forward on top of the lower vertebra, a condition called spondylolisthesis. Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid, a bodily waste product circulating in the bloodstream, is deposited as needle-shaped monosodium urate crystals in tissues of the body, including the joints. Subsequent attacks may occur off and on in other joints, primarily those of the foot and knee. Less commonly gout can affect the spine, causing extreme pain, numbness and tingling.