Physicians prescribe a number of exercises for the treatment of degenerative joint disease. By strengthening the muscles in your neck and back and making your joints more mobile, these exercises can help alleviate your symptoms. Before beginning any exercise regimen it is essential that you meet with your physician or another medical professional to ensure that every exercise is appropriate for the condition being treated. Exercising improperly or excessively can actually worsen symptoms and exacerbate the underlying condition.
Degenerative joint disease (DJD), also known as osteoarthritis, commonly occurs in the necks and backs of people who are older than 50 years old. A facet joint in the spine becomes arthritic when the cartilage on the joint wears away over time, no longer protecting the joint surfaces from grinding against each other. Throughout years of constant movement, the rubbing of bone against bone results in inflammation and leads to the growth of bone spurs, causing joint dysfunction and nerve compression in the spinal column.
As of now, there is no cure for DJD because arthritis cannot be undone, nor can the articular cartilage of a facet joint be replaced. No exercise can undo arthritis, but treatment can help alleviate the patient’s arthritic pain and increase (or at least maintain) the mobility of the joint, therefore mitigating the effects of this frustrating condition.
Effective exercises and other treatments
Some effective degenerative joint disease exercises typically recommended to accomplish these important goals include:
- Range of motion exercises
- Physical therapy sessions
- Aerobic exercises
- Taking yoga or Pilates classes
- Specific stretching exercises
To learn which treatments and individual exercises are best for your condition, visit your physician or a spine specialist. If you are considering spine surgery to treat your degenerative joint disease, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our advanced, minimally invasive treatments for spinal osteoarthritis.