Degenerative arthritis is a condition that involves the chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints leading to painful joint inflammation. In the spine, facet joint osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative arthritis or spinal arthritis, causes a breakdown of cartilage between the facet joints in the back of the spine.
When the joints articulate, the lack of cartilage causes pain as well as limits on motion. The condition is more common in adults over the age of 60.
Degenerative arthritis can be successfully treated using one or a combination of non-surgical treatments, such as water therapy, exercise, pain medications, and chiropractic manipulation in order to maintain motion in the back. Rarely surgery will be required to alleviate the pain.