Four reasons it's important to seek arthritis of the spine treatment
Unlike spinal conditions that are caused by a sudden traumatic injury, osteoarthritis of the spine is a degenerative condition that usually worsens gradually over time. The basic definition of spinal osteoarthritis is the slow deterioration of the cartilage between the facet joints of the spine. After years of repetitive motion, this tissue begins to break down, allowing the unprotected facet joints to rub together and eventually cause inflammation and pain. Spinal osteoarthritis is most common in patients over the age of 50, but it can occur in younger individuals who are overweight, have a genetic predisposition for early onset arthritis or whose jobs require putting a lot of repetitive stress on the joints of the spine.
The symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis can include stiffness or pain in the neck or back, throbbing, tenderness and, in some cases, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs. While these symptoms can eventually become severe enough to be debilitating, they almost always begin mildly. Because of this, many patients develop a tolerance for the discomfort and learn to compensate for the reduced flexibility and range of motion that results.
Unfortunately, this coping mechanism could be counterproductive in the long run. By ignoring symptoms and not seeking arthritis of the spine treatment in a timely manner, patients risk worsening their condition. Left untreated, spinal osteoarthritis can:
- Diminish your productivity and erode your ability to participate in healthy activities
- Force you into a more sedentary lifestyle that may result in depression, weight gain and decreased cardiovascular fitness
- Weaken your back muscles, making you more vulnerable to further issues such as herniated discs, pinched nerves, bone spurs and infections around the damaged joints
- In worst-case scenarios, result in more severe injuries that may require back surgery
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the spine and would like more information about minimally invasive surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We will be happy to discuss your condition and help you find out if you’re a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.