If you suffer from recurring back pain, there may be an underlying condition that's causing it. Back pain isn't always caused by the usual culprits such as pulled muscles or over-exertion. Back pain that comes back week after week could be the sign of a debilitating medical condition known as osteoarthritis. Here are four signs that your back pain may be caused by osteoarthritis. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult your physician.

Morning Pain and Stiffness

If you wake up in the morning with pain and stiffness in your back, it might not be caused by your sleep position or mattress. The discomfort you're experiencing may actually be signs of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes your joints to become inflamed. As you sleep, your joints stiffen to prevent painful movement. It can cause morning pain and stiffness in several areas of your body, including your back, neck, and shoulders.

Pain That Gets Worse Over Time

When you have a pulled muscle, or other back injuries, the pain usually comes on quickly. However, back pain caused by osteoarthritis comes on gradually and increases in intensity over time. The reason this happens is because the cartilage between the vertebrae breaks down and causes the bones to rub together.

Numbness or Tingling in Arms and Hands

If you've been experiencing numbness and tingling in your arms and hands, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible. When you have osteoarthritis in your back, your spine can become inflamed. When that happens, it can affect your arms and hands. In fact, you may feel like you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor will be able to properly identify the cause of your numbness and tingling.

Back Pain That Radiates to Legs

If you experience radiating pain in your legs that begins in your lower back or buttocks region, the pain may be caused by osteoarthritis. This is particularly true if the pain comes on after sitting for a prolonged period of time. You may also notice increased weakness or tingling in your legs that radiates down to your feet. Osteoarthritis can cause the spinal cord to compress. When that happens, you may notice pain, tingling or even cramping in your lower back and legs.

If you've been experiencing recurring back pain, you need to consult with your doctor as soon as possible. You may have osteoarthritis. Your doctor will be able to provide proper treatment that will help alleviate the discomfort you're experiencing.