Degenerative joint disease is common in the lumbar spine, or lower back, because this portion of the spine supports nearly half of the body’s overall weight. A lifetime of pressure on the lower back can cause the articular cartilage within vertebral joints, or facet joints, to deteriorate, a condition that can lead to bone spurs, joint stiffness, inflammation, and pain.
Causes of joint degeneration
The natural degeneration that accompanies the aging process is the primary cause of degenerative joint disease, though a variety of secondary causes can accelerate cartilage breakdown, including:
- A weakened immune system
- Congenital joint disorders
- Prolonged misuse, overexertion, or poor posture
What should I do if I think I have degenerative joint disease?
If you are suffering from pain, weakness, tingling, or stiffness in your lumbar spine, hips, buttocks, or legs, consult your primary care physician. He or she will likely prescribe a regimen of noninvasive, conservative treatment, such as pain medication, hot and cold compresses, and behavior modification. If weeks or months of these methods prove ineffective and your physician suggests you consider spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our orthopedic experts can tell you more about minimally invasive procedures that are performed using safe, effective endoscopic technology. We offer a variety of options for patients suffering from degenerative joint disease who are wary of the risks and long recuperation that accompany an open spine operation.