There is no cure for most types of arthritis. Therefore most treatments are directed at symptom relief. Osteoarthritis has been present from antiquity. It is not surprising therefore that a huge number of remedies exist. Nearly all treatments are conservative and non-surgical. When surgery is suggested, it is usually to remove a factor contributing to the underlying arthritis or the correction of an anatomical change resulting from arthritis.
Spinal Osteoarthritis Overview
Having a thorough knowledge of the condition is the first step to knowing how to treat arthritis of the spine. Osteoarthritis of the spine is the most common type of spinal arthritis. It affects the facet joints of the spine. Facet joints are sliding joints found in the posterior portion of each vertebra. Facet joints allow the sliding of vertebra over its adjacent one when flexing or extending the back. With aging, the articular cartilage of the facet joints degrades, making its sliding action extremely painful. Some factors that accelerate the degrading of facet articular cartilage include:
- Overuse of joint
- Genetic predisposition
- A lowered immune system
Basically, knowing how to treat arthritis of the spine means knowing how to minimize pain. Weight loss reduces stress on the affected joints. Rest, anti-inflammatory medications, or gentle chiropractic therapy may reduce symptoms. . Many patients also find steroid injections to be helpful. These are slow-release doses of cortisone reducing inflammation and decreasing pain. Gentle, low-impact exercises may improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and endorphin levels.
If conservative management fails to provide sufficient relief, surgery may be suggested. Traditional spinal fusion surgery is directed at prevention of the movement of arthritic joints, easing pain. Laser Spine Institute (LSI) can offer alternatives to a traditional back surgery. LSI’s minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures have helped tens of thousands of people recover spinal wellbeing. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.