Arthritis Definition | Back Pain and Neck Pain Medical Glossary

Arthritis Definition

Arthritis is a condition that involves an inflammation of the joints. Common arthritic conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

In the spine, degenerative arthritis causes a breakdown of cartilage between the facet joints in the spine and generally occurs in adults over the age of 60. When the joints are articulated, the lack of cartilage at the joint causes pain as well as loss of motion and stiffness.

Arthritis is thought to arise from certain types of injuries, strain and repetitive motion and may also be caused by gout. The most common treatments for arthritis include anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs to relieve inflammation and physical therapy to aid mobility.