If you have ever asked yourself the question, “What should I do if I think I have spinal arthritis?” your first step should be to make an appointment with your primary care physician. After reviewing your medical history, inquiring about the location, severity, and frequency of your symptoms, and performing a physical examination, your doctor may order medical imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan. If he or she confirms a diagnosis of spinal arthritis, a regimen of conservative, non-operative therapy will likely be prescribed.
Conservative treatments for spinal arthritis
Only a very small percentage of patients with spinal arthritis require surgical treatment. The majority of patients are be able to manage their pain with conservative treatments, including:
- Hot/cold compresses
- Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication
- Periods of rest
- Gentle stretching
- Low-impact exercise
- Behavior modification
Minimally invasive alternatives
If weeks or months of conservative treatments have not provided you with lasting pain relief, your physician may suggest that you consider surgery. Keep in mind that a highly invasive open spine surgery is not your only option. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that may be able to help you rediscover your life without back and neck pain. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan to find out if you could be a candidate for one of our endoscopic spinal arthritis procedures. We also offer procedures for herniated discs, bulging discs, spondylolisthesis, and more.