Diagnosis and treatment for a degenerative spine
Receiving a degenerative spine diagnosis can create worry, but there are many treatment methods available that have allowed patients suffering from one of the many degenerative spinal conditions to find much-needed relief. The first point that needs to be understood about a degenerative spine disease is that it is mostly unavoidable.
As you age, some components of your neck and back will naturally wear out due to years of activity, and that can lead to degeneration of the cartilage and discs in the spine. In turn, that degeneration can result in pressure being applied to spinal nerves, which can lead to pain and other symptoms. Read on to learn about the degenerative spine diagnosis process and the treatments available for this condition.
Common degenerative spine conditions
Some of the many degenerative spine conditions include:
- Bulging discs — that have swelled beyond their normal space
- Herniated discs — that have ruptured, allowing the material inside the disc to escape
- Pinched nerves — that can result in several different symptoms
- Sciatica — symptoms that arise from the irritation of the sciatic nerve
- Spinal stenosis — causing the narrowing of the spinal canal
- Degenerative disc disease — which is the breakdown of the spinal discs
- Spinal osteoarthritis — which is the breakdown of the cartilage on the spinal facet joints
- Bone spurs — which are excess growths of bone, often caused by arthritis
- Degenerative scoliosis — which is a curvature of the spine that can develop later in life
Degenerative spine diagnosis
A degenerative spine diagnosis can often be made by your primary care physician, who will likely also be able to provide several treatment options. Before making a diagnosis, a doctor will go through your medical history and conduct a physical exam to evaluate such factors as your posture, flexibility and range of motion. A number of diagnostic tests can also be conducted to help confirm a diagnosis of a degenerative spinal condition, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs or bone scans.
Degenerative spine treatment
The next step after a degenerative spine diagnosis is to learn your treatment options so you can start working toward relief. Your doctor will likely recommend a combination of conservative treatments that can include pain medications, steroid injections, hot or cold therapy, weight management and strengthening exercises.
While these methods are effective at providing relief for degenerative spine symptoms in the majority of patients, surgery may be necessary in cases where conservative treatments do not produce results. If you think you might be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive degenerative spine procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and request a free MRI or CT scan review of your spine.*
Since 2005, Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Through the use of a small incision that is muscle sparing, our board-certified surgeons+, are able to provide you with lasting relief from your degenerative spine symptoms. Contact Laser Spine Institute today so we can help you on your journey to wellness.