Preventive measures and treatment options for degenerative joint disease
Degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is a condition that affects the smooth cartilage covering the ends of the bones that meet in the joints. The protective coating helps the bones to glide freely over each other. This condition causes joint cartilage to break down and wear away, allowing the bones to grind together.
Bone-on-bone contact in a joint can lead to pain, stiffness, inflammation and the formation of bone spurs, which can pinch spinal nerves by taking up valuable space in the spinal canal. In the following article, you will learn how to avoid the discomfort brought on by degenerative joint disease as well as how to treat any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Can degenerative joint disease be prevented?
As part of the natural aging process, degenerative joint disease usually develops very slowly. In addition to the spinal joints, it can affect other joints located throughout the body. Everyday activities such as bending, lifting or twisting may be affected by this condition and can result in debilitating back pain, so it is important to address any symptoms as soon as they start.
While aging and the changes that go along with degenerative joint disease cannot be avoided, it may be possible to delay this condition and slow its progression once it strikes by using the following tips:
- Learn about degenerative joint disease. Ask your physician about how you can recognize and address the early symptoms of degenerative joint disease.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Weight management can reduce pressure on your spine and lessen the effects of joint degeneration.
- Be active. Regular physical activity is essential to general well-being and strong core muscles can help support and protect spinal joints weakened by degenerative joint disease.
- Get enough sleep. Being well-rested can help your body combat the results of age-related degeneration.
Degenerative joint disease treatments
At Laser Spine Institute, our surgeons perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.^ If conservative treatments like pain medication, physical therapy or strengthening exercises have failed to alleviate your pain, we offer a variety of surgical options for degenerative joint disease. This may include procedures such as disc fusion, a disc replacement or an artificial disc.