• Gout. Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid, a bodily waste product circulating in the bloodstream, is deposited as needle-shaped monosodium urate crystals in tissues of the body, including the joints. For many people, the first symptom of gout is excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe – often following a trauma, such as an illness or injury. Subsequent attacks may occur off and on in other joints, primarily those of the foot and knee. Less commonly gout can affect the spine, causing extreme pain, numbness and tingling. It can be confused with a spinal infection.

More you should know about gout.

• Infectious arthritis.  Also called septic arthritis, infectious arthritis refers to arthritis that is caused by an infection within a joint. It can occur in the facet joints of spine. Infectious arthritis is often caused by bacteria that spread through the bloodstream to the joint. Sometimes it is caused by viruses or fungi.

Learn more about septic arthritis from the National Library of Medicine.

• Polymyalgia rheumatica.  An inflammatory disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and stiffness, polymyalgia rheumatica mainly affects the neck, shoulders, upper arms, lower back, thighs and hips. The disease often comes on suddenly and resolves on its own in a year or two.

Learn more about polymyalgia rheumatica.

• Fibromyalgia. An arthritis-related condition, fibromyalgia is a syndrome of chronic, widespread muscle pain and fatigue, which can be debilitating. The lower back is a common site of fibromyalgia pain.

Learn more about fibromyalgia.

• Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones loose so much mass that they become brittle and prone to break with slight trauma. The condition, which can occur with aging, inactivity, a low-calcium diet or use of corticosteroid medications, commonly affects the spine. When this occurs in the spine, the inner spongy bone and more solid outer portion of the vertebrae become porous. The weakened vertebrae can break – an injury called a compression fracture – and lose about one-half of their height. In most cases, compression fractures, are painful. In some cases, the resulting back pain is severe. Usually, the pain resolves within a few weeks, but for some people, it is long-lasting.

Learn more about osteoporosis.

Find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis.

• Spinal stenosis. Literally meaning &quotspinal narrowing,&quot spinal stenosis can occur when changes in arthritis lead to bony overgrowth of the vertebrae and thickening of the ligaments. This can occur with osteoarthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. If a significant overgrowth occurs, it can cause the spinal column to narrow and press on the nerves housed within. Because the affected nerves have many functions, the condition may cause diverse problems in the lower body, including back pain, pain or numbness in the legs, constipation or urinary incontinence.

Learn more about spinal stenosis.