Accurate diagnosis of spinal arthritis is a complex task. There are many types of arthritis as well as a multitude of other diseases and injuries that cause spinal symptoms. In gathering a medical history, doctors usually inquire about the severity of symptoms in relation to the types of activities performed, when most symptoms occur, what makes symptoms better and worse, and what treatments have been tried. The doctor should perform a back examination including performing a series of exercises to test flexibility and range of motion. Then the doctor may run a series of tests such as blood work, MRI, X-ray, CT scan, or bone scan to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
The diagnosis of spinal arthritis is common. There are many effective treatment options available for relief of symptoms. Depending on the severity of symptoms, non-prescription medication and moderate exercise may be effective. Other spine arthritis treatments can include prescription medications, weight loss, hot/cold applications, spinal injections, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and more. When all other treatments fail to provide relief of symptoms, back surgery may be considered.
Before making a decision concerning neck or back surgery, research the new procedures and technologies now available. For example, Laser Spine Institute has furthered the development of innovative treatments of neck and back pain through minimally invasive, outpatient procedures. These procedures drastically reduce the pain, recovery time, and scarring associated with traditional open back surgery. To learn more about LSI or to receive a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan, contact us today.