Alternative treatments for arthritis of the spine

Alternative treatments are methods that fall outside of the medical mainstream and are explored by patients for a variety of reasons. While there is not a consensus about the effectiveness of these methods among doctors, some may recommend using them to complement a plan of more conventional treatment options such as physical therapy or pain medication.

Whether you’re interested in alternative treatments because of personal beliefs or you want to make sure you are exploring the full range of treatment options, educating yourself about these methods can be helpful. The following information is intended to help you work more closely with your doctor to develop a treatment plan with the best chance of returning you to the quality of life you deserve.

Therapeutic massage and chiropractic care for spinal arthritis

Two of the most common alternative therapies for spinal arthritis are therapeutic massage and chiropractic care. These are considered manual therapies due to the hands-on approach a practitioner uses to manually realign the spine or relax the muscles that surround it. During a therapeutic massage, a licensed professional will use specific techniques to help reduce muscle tension. During a chiropractic session, a trained chiropractor can use manual adjustment in an attempt to take pressure off of nerves affected by spinal arthritis.

Other alternative therapies include yoga, acupuncture and herbal remedies

In addition to therapeutic massage and chiropractic care, traditional methods such as acupuncture, yoga and herbal remedies may also be beneficial for arthritis-related pain. During an acupuncture session, an acupuncturist inserts small needles through the skin to stimulate pressure points throughout the body. In restorative yoga, patients are led through a series of gentle stretches that strengthen and stretch the supporting muscles of the spine. Through herbal remedies, some patients are able to manage their pain without the use of (or by decreasing the use of) prescription medications.

Consult your physician and Laser Spine Institute

If you are considering any of these alternative therapies, you should discuss them with your physician before adding them to your treatment plan. In some cases, choosing the wrong treatments — or utilizing them incorrectly — can complicate a case of spinal arthritis. Get advice on ways to complement these or other options with your general practitioner’s recommended plan of treatment.

If conservative therapies and alternative treatments have been exhausted without improving your symptoms after a period of weeks or months, surgery can become an option. Contact Laser Spine Institute if you have been recommended for surgery, but have concerns about the risks and difficulties involved with traditional open spine procedures.

For help determining if a minimally invasive spine surgery would be an appropriate next step for your situation, reach out to our dedicated team today. We offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.