Degenerative spine arthritis, also referred to as osteoarthritis, is characterized by a degeneration of the cartilage between the facet joints of the spine. The facet joints create hinge-like connections in between your spinal vertebrae, allowing the spine to bend and twist. To facilitate these movements, the joins are covered with cartilage and synovial fluid, which provide the joints with a smooth, low-friction surface. A lifetime of movement puts considerable stress on the facet joints and it is only natural that the cartilage would eventually begin to wear away. Eventually, joint flexibility and mobility is greatly reduced, and this is diagnosed as osteoarthritis.
Degenerative spine arthritis can have several causes, including:
- Obesity – heavy weight on the joints increases the chance for wear-and-tear. Doctors may suggest weight loss as a possible treatment method for degenerative spine disorders.
- Aging – facet joints, like all parts of the body, deteriorate with age, making them less able to hinge fluidly.
- Genetic predisposition – hereditary factors influence the likelihood that your joint cartilage will begin to break down.
- Immune system – illness or disease can weaken your immune system, thereby lowering your body’s ability to function at peak potential.
Degenerative spine symptoms can include:
- Limited range of motion
- Throbbing sensation
- Diminished flexibility
- Locking of the joints
- Radiculopathy (radiating pain and other symptoms)
If your doctor has diagnosed you with degenerative spine arthritis, there are a variety of treatment options available, such as the progressive, minimally-invasive alternatives offered by Laser Spine Institute (LSI). Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, eliminationg a long hospital stay and recovery time. If you’re ready to learn more about the latest treatments for degenerative spine conditions, contact LSI today. We’ll be happy to review your MRI or CT scan, completely free of charge.