Spinal osteoarthritis is another name for degenerative arthritis in the spine. It describes the deteriorating condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the spinal facet joints that allow the vertebrae to hinge and move.
As these joints swell, several symptoms can occur. The joint itself can swell to the point where it is difficult for the vertebrae to pivot, causing limited mobility or a bone-on-bone scraping sound in that specific area of the spine. Additionally, the inflammation can cause a local nerve root to become compressed, resulting in pain and muscle weakness. In some cases, the joint can deteriorate and cause the development of bone spurs to grow near the joint, which can also compress a nerve and cause pain.
While osteoarthritis can cause all of these conditions and symptoms, there are certain things you can do to avoid or delay the development of this condition. In fact, understanding the risk factors for osteoarthritis can help you make daily decisions to promote spine health and possibly avoid this condition altogether.
Many times, osteoarthritis develops naturally as the spine ages. Even though this type of deterioration over time is natural, here are some osteoarthritis prevention tips that can help keep your spine and joints healthy:
- Exercise regularly. Talk to your doctor to see if physical therapy may be beneficial.
- Sit and stand with good posture.
- Lift correctly, using your legs and not your back.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Eat a healthy nutritious diet.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Get enough sleep.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
If you follow these osteoarthritis prevention tips, you can help ensure that your spine and joints stay strong and healthy. These prevention tips do not guarantee you will avoid developing spinal arthritis or any other degenerative spine condition, but you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to promote an overall healthy spine and possibly delay the onset of osteoarthritis.
If you would like more information on prevention steps and treatment options available to you if you are already experiencing spinal problems due to this condition, contact Laser Spine Institute today. For patients who have fully explored conservative treatment, our minimally invasive spine surgery offers a safer and effective outpatient alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.^
To see if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive spine surgeries ask a member of our caring team for your free MRI review.*