Rheumatoid Arthritis in Spine


Rheumatoid arthritis in spine is an intensely painful state that exists in 1 of 5 patients affected by the rheumatoid disorder. This disease belongs to the group of autoimmune diseases marked by the chronic inflammation in the linking joints across the body. We know that the immune system guarantees security by assaulting the pathogenic bodies that step into the body. But, in case of an autoimmune disease, the immune system backfires in the sense that it wrongly attacks the tissues taking them as alien bodies, thereby damaging them. Even today, the precise cause of rheumatoid is yet to be discovered, but it is accepted that the autoimmune system is surely one of the causes.

In the condition of rheumatoid arthritis in spine, the entire spine along with the spinal cord joints are badly treated. This is a serious condition as the spine to the body is what the root to a plant is. Therefore, it is very necessary to understand this disease and heal it as soon as possible. Therefore, we are humbly dedicating this article to the symptoms, causes, and treatments for this disease.



The extent of the influence of rheumatoid arthritis in spine tends to differ from one patient to another. Listed below are a few common symptoms associated with the rheumatoid arthritis in spine.

  • Pain at skull’s bottom and in the neck as well as back if the spinal arthritis strikes in the cervical spine and moves downwards
  • Blackout bouts because of the pressure on the arteries of the vertebrae
  • Irregular walking pattern
  • Difficulty in maintaining the balance
  • Sensation of tingling
  • Weakness
  • Loss of coordination between the arms and legs
  • Incontinence
  • Lack of ability to urinate


rheumatoid arthritisAs per the relevant studies, a patient having for more than 10 years is 50% more inclined towards arthritis in spine inducing an unsteadiness between the link of the bottom of the skull and the upper vertebral column. In case of rheumatoid arthritis in spine, three chief causes or complications exist as listed below.

  • Alantoaxial Shakiness: This is referred to as an abnormal motion induced between the first two vertebrae because of joint inflammation resulting in the instability of the cervical spine.
  • Super Odontoid Migration: This is a condition due to the joint erosion existing between the skull’s base and first two vertebrae. Because of this erosion, the odontoid tip gets pressed besides the skull base, finally resulting in more pressure on the stem of the brain. This is precisely the reason behind the coordination issues.
  • Subaxial Subluxations: This is the outcome if the rheumatoid arthritis progresses up to the lower cervical spine making the vertebrae to slip and the neck to form a curved posture.


If you find any kind of coordination problem as well as any of the signs of arthritis impacting the hands’ and legs’ joints, contact a rheumatologist and get the spine diagnosed for rheumatoid arthritis. This diagnosis is normally done via a CT scan or an X-ray.

Treatment choices

Rheumatoid is a disease without cure. However, if this arthritis in spine is in its initial stages, then it is possible to discard its symptoms via the anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs and analgesics, which lessen pain as well as decelerate the advancement of joint damage.

One more choice is spinal surgery that holds many risks and much cost. In this, the damaged joints and the affected vertebrae are dealt and also the crunched nerves under pressure are decompressed for restoring a few nervous functions. The surgery is possible only if the damage is not too much and that the arthritis is in its starting phase. This is because in the advanced stage wherein the spinal joints are already destructed and the bones suffer from osteoporosis, the success rate of surgery is very low. This means that the recovery hope is only in early diagnosis and treatment.

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