Spinal Arthritis

Written by James Lyons
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Nobody wants to get spinal arthritis. Any condition involving the spine can be unsettling considering the vertebrae house the spinal cord. Damage to the spinal cord can cause life-long disability. The back is a sensitive and vulnerable part of the human body. Because it endures so much stress throughout a person's life, nearly everyone experiences some type of back pain in his or her lifetime.

The problem with spinal arthritis is that it can be difficult to diagnose. Arthritis, in general, resembles a number of different ailments. The symptoms of spinal arthritis are similar to a number of different spinal disorders. To give a proper diagnosis, your doctor might have to put you through a number of tests to find out what is wrong with your back.

Spinal Arthritis Tests

If you think you have spinal arthritis, your doctor will want to rule out some other, more serious conditions. First, your physician will probably want to give you a blood test which will help her determine what type of arthritis you have, if you indeed have it. X-rays will help your physician see if any deterioration of the cartilage has occurred between the vertebrae. An MRI will give her a three-dimensional view of your back to work with.

In some instances, your doctor might have to do a CAT scan to get a clear view of your spinal canal. This too will help her determine whether or not you have spinal arthritis. Finally, you might have to endure a bone scan. This test is typically used in conjunction with other tests because doctors have a difficult time distinguishing disorders with bone scan results alone.

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