There are over one hundred different types of arthritis, and not all of them will cause a spinal cord injury. If the injury is arthritis-related, it's typically because arthritis was present in the spine. Spinal arthritis causes the discs and joints in the patient's lower back and neck to degenerate. Many patients first experience symptoms as pain and stiffness in the back and neck. If the condition isn't treated or reaches a severe enough level despite treatment, it can cause damage to the spinal cord.
It can also cause patients to experience numbness or weakness in the arms and legs, and some experience impairment in bladder and bowel function. Most spinal arthritis patients develop it gradually as they age. However, some younger individuals with cartilage-related genetic defects or a healing back injury may also develop it. Under the age of forty-five, spinal arthritis is most commonly seen in men, but after this age, women are more likely to be diagnosed.