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Arthritis Action
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OA of the spine

For those of you that have osteoarthritis in your spine , not only in the lower area but in the cervical as well. What do you do when it starts in the cervical part of the spine? I feel it everyday. Right in the middle of my back . Some days are worse than others for me. With it in the cervical part of my spine I fear it will eventually affect my spinal cord . That another question. Those of you that have it in your cervical part of your spine has it affected your spinal cord as well? I’m going to be 43 in four months and I really fear that it will eventually affect my spinal cord as well before I’m 50. I need some positive feedback with this please. Thanks for all responses. They are greatly appreciative.

7 Replies

Your cervical spine is the top bit, the seven vertebrae in your neck. If the pain is in the middle of your back it's more likely to be your thoracic spine - unless triggered by moving your neck.

Your spinal cord is very well protected, so osteoarthritic degeneration in the vertebrae doesn't usually cause problems with the spinal cord. Although there are things like spinal stenosis that can cause problems.

I've said this to you may times before, but have you taken up the offer of physiotherapy, spine strengthening exercise programme, or epidural injections yet? Those are most likely to be effective otherwise you end up taking more and more painkillers. At 43 you do need to be very proactive to protect your future.

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Oh thank you for your reply I have just been diagnosed with OA in my spine and hadn't thought about it affecting my spinal cord until I read the post by JDQuinn You have made me feel very much better Great advice too


Cat33, I was just wondering if it would get to that point or not. I’ve have OA for about five years now and in the last three years it’s been in bot my lower spine area as well as the upper art as well. I feel in in the upper part of my spine daily. It was confirmed not not ago that it’s started in my neck as well. As of yet I don’t have discomfort there thank goodness.


It's horrible isn't it I hadn't thought of it getting to the spinal cord That reply you had made me feel better

I'm so sorry you are suffering too

Take care xx


Yes cat it’s awful. When I originally typed this post I was also thinking in regulates to the nerves in the back that might affect the spinal cord do to OA. It’s started in my neck too. So needless to say I have it from my neck down to the lumbar area. Eventually it’ll probably affect my walking at some point. It’s already hard to get around some days. Those days I just stay home when it’s to painful to get around.


Hi JDQuinn. i have OA in both lumber and cervical ( the upper part of the spine. The lumber has been showing its bad face since I was in my 40s and the cervical the last 4 years.

For me the most important thing is getting up a programme of stregthening and stretching. I streach out my shoulders neck and upper back every day and do what I can for my lower back and SI joints every day too.

I managed to keep my life as normal as I could for a decade through pilates, weight training and walking and cycling. In the end a cycle accident caused major problems but I had those ten years without too much disruption to my life.

You are young enough to make a big difference. Find a good physio or chiropractor to advise on what you can safely do and go for it. Its the best thing you can do for your body and mind. Try to keep off the medication until you absolutely have to. Learn about pacing and find your limits to avoid flare ups.

Diet will help too as eating unprocessed food with attention to those foods that are good for bone and muscle will help your body fight the OA. There is no cure but having strong muscles and good flexibility is the best way to protect your spine from its damaging effects.

Hope it goes well for you



Hi this is a difficult, l have had Ankolosing spondylitis for over 50 years with total spinal fusion with very little pain these days but of course there is no movement, biggest problem being no neck movement but have always thought that because of the fusion that in some ways the inner spine is protected, sorry this isn't much help, but fully understand your concern

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