First Time User? Sign Up Now
For the visually-impaired, please click here.
Home > Health Library > Osteoarthritis of the Spine
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints breaks down over time. Eventually, the bones-formerly separated by the cartilage-rub against each other. This results in damage to the tissue and bone and causes painful joint symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is common in the joints of the spine, including the small facet joints and the large joints between the vertebrae.
The lower picture also shows flattened discs. This is a common part of aging in which the discs that cushion the bones of the spine lose fluid and can develop tiny cracks. When discs flatten, there is less space between the bones. This can make osteoarthritis worse and can also pinch the nerves that are near the spine.
Current as of: April 1, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineStanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Current as of:
April 1, 2019
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
UNC Rockingham Health Care
117 E Kings Hwy
Eden, NC, 27288
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.