You wake up to pain
If your back hurts when you first get out of the bed in the morning, the pain may caused by the inflammation characteristic of arthritis. (By the way, here’s what to do if you wake up with back pain.) “When there’s inflammation, it’s not the arthritic changes that bother you, it’s the nerve,” says Mark Mickhael, MD, of the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. Pain can also be caused by a herniated disc, as it pushes out and hits the nerves in your spinal cord. Herniated discs are common with degenerative disc disease, which often accompanies osteoarthritis, or arthritis of the spine. (Learn about the miracle cure that soothes osteoarthritis while sitting down.) Look out for back pain that lasts for roughly 30 minutes in the morning and then goes away. “With arthritis, the pain tends to get better during the day, but then in the evening it feels a little worse,” says Prakash Jayabalan, MD, of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Evening pain may not be from arthritis, however, but rather from the stress of daily activities such as sitting at work. Find out how to recover from a day of sitting.
Other body parts hurt, too
When arthritis of the spine advances, wear and tear on the vertebrae can cause a pinching or compressing of the spinal cord and nerves. Since the nerves running down your back connect to different areas of your body, you could end up feeling pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hips, butt, legs, and feet. (Scarily enough, this form of osteoarthritis has doubled in the past 50 years.) “Those nerves go down the muscles of your legs, so that can cause weakness,” Dr. Jayabalan adds. Try these 15 life hacks that can relive arthritis pain.