Symptoms of spinal arthritis include pain, tingling, and swelling and rashes, states Healthline.com. When spinal arthritis is severe, patients may feel like their extremities are weak or numb, or bladder and bowel function can be reduced, states WebMD. In the worst cases, patients can have trouble walking. Spinal arthritis pain tends to be most severe in the lower back because the lower back supports most of the body's weight, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Sufferers of any type of arthritis experience pain, swelling and stiffness in joints, according to MedlinePlus. The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae stacked atop one another, states the Arthritis Foundation. Each place where these bones meet is a joint, with the five vertebrae at the base of the spine providing most of the support for the body's weight.
Treatment for spinal arthritis is focused on reducing symptoms, since arthritis is irreversible, states WebMD. Non-pharmaceutical treatments for arthritis include maintaining a healthy weight and exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles that bolster joints. Electrical stimulation, massage and acupuncture offer relief. Topical ointments and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve arthritis pain, but prescription painkillers and injected steroid treatments are sometimes used in severe cases. Surgery is recommended in rare cases.