Knee pain may come from a gradual breakdown of the knee’s cartilage, which is the protective tissue on the ends of bones. In a healthy knee, the bones glide smoothly on the cartilage. In a knee with osteoarthritis, cartilage begins to wear away, resulting in bone rubbing directly against bone. Boney bumps called “bone spurs” may develop.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the spine and is typically the result of wear and tear. Osteoarthritis of the spine, which may be referred to as “spinal arthritis,” can occur anywhere along the spine, but it is more frequent in the lower back and neck. Treatment may include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery in severe cases.