I've been under the care of a rheumatologist for years and years. They really are the medical side of orthopedics.
If the problem is osteoarthritis, they have methods for controlling the pain and slowing the joint destruction that an ortho may not have the time to do. Orthopedic surgeons are surgeons for a reason....they prefer to cut over manage long term.
But in your case Darbymai, there is whole group of arthritic disorders that include arthritis of the spine called the spondyloarthropathies. And with that group, a whole group of specialized medications that control them. With spinal arthritis, if you can slow the progression or even stop it, then you avoid a future of surgery and disability so it's important to know if you have one of them and get it treated. Also, within that group of disorders, some of them can affect internal organs so it's even more important to get that diagnosis and get it treated.
Most people think arthritis of any kind is just a disorder of the joints but the reality is that most of the inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis affect the entire body. I've had OA for years and lots of joint damage but then I got RA 5 years ago and my joints have been fine....but I almost went blind. RA affected the blood vessels to my eyes and optic nerves.
I'd advise anyone with arthritis in the spine or elsewhere to at the very least get an assessment from rheumatologist to figure out if something more serious is involved. Early treatment is the key to controlling these awful diseases and controlling the pain as well. But first you have to know if you "just have arthritis" or something worse.