Alternative treatments for arthritis of the spine

Patients with arthritis of the spine turn to alternative treatments for many reasons, ranging from personal beliefs to wanting to fully explore available options. Alternative treatments encompass a broad range of techniques, but generally refer to methods that fall outside of mainstream medicine. However, some doctors will use alternative therapies to complement a course of more conventional conservative treatment.

If you are trying to find relief from symptoms of spinal arthritis, the following overview of commonly used alternative treatments can help you as you work with your doctor to develop a care plan that is best for your individual needs.

Types of alternative treatments

Here are three of types of alternative treatments that are used by many patients and often combined with a conventional course of conservative treatment:

  • Chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractor uses manual adjustments and other techniques with the goal of improving spinal alignment and potentially relieving symptoms related to arthritis of the spine.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a type of Eastern medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles at specific points on the body. Individuals report finding relief from a range of conditions including arthritis, but there is debate among the medical community about how this may work.
  • Herbal remedies. Herbal medicine, or herbalism, can treat arthritis by using plant-based remedies that are traditionally believed to reduce pain and inflammation related to this condition. This can include herbs such as flax, turmeric and ginger.

When exploring alternative medicine always seek treatment from a licensed professional and with the close partnership of your primary care doctor. Not only does working with your doctor help ensure that any treatments you pursue are compatible with your existing care, but they also may be able to guide you in finding a reputable practitioner.

If surgery becomes an option

A large number of patients are able to enjoy a better quality of life through conservative and alternative treatments alike. However, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for a surgical consultation if your symptoms do not improve after fully exploring nonsurgical options.

Before consenting to a traditional open spine surgery that involves a large incision, overnight hospitalization and a long recovery period, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and offers less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional procedures.^

We offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.