Degenerative spine treatment can take many forms, though no matter if the treatment regimen is conservative or aggressive, you should always make sure you have a full understanding of your condition and consider all of the treatment options available.
A degenerative spine disease is essentially the disintegration of spinal cartilage, either in the intervertebral discs or in the facet joints. If cartilaginous discs between the vertebrae begin to weaken or become brittle, this is called degenerative disc disease. If cartilage on the surface of the facet joints erodes, this is called degenerative spinal arthritis, or osteoarthritis. These conditions can lead to herniated discs, thinning discs, bone spurs, bulging discs and spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing in the spinal column. All of these changes can put painful pressure on spinal nerves.
If your physician has diagnosed you with any of the above, he or she may suggest conservative degenerative spine treatment options, including:
- Physical therapy – mild stretching, muscle-building and exercises are aimed at helping you increase mobility and endurance. Stretching can often take some of the pressure off affected spinal regions by temporarily increasing nerve space in the spinal column. Physical therapy can also teach patients about proper posture and lifting techniques.
- Steroid injections – commonly known as an “epidural” because the injection is delivered in the epidural space, a steroid injection can help to temporarily relieve spine inflammation. Usually, cortisone is administered.
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medications – over-the-counter or prescription medications that may include muscle relaxants, narcotic pain medications, oral steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen.
Another degenerative spine treatment you may not have heard about is the minimally invasive, outpatient alternative offered by Laser Spine Institute. We are at the forefront of minimally invasive surgical technology, and we have helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck and back pain. Contact us today for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.