Spinal arthritis diagnosis

An accurate diagnosis of spinal arthritis is a complex task. There are many types of arthritis as well as a multitude of other diseases and injuries that can cause spinal symptoms. When gathering a medical history, physicians usually inquire about the severity of symptoms in relation to the types of activities performed, when most symptoms occur, what makes symptoms better and worse, and what treatments have been tried.

Your physician should perform a back examination, including performing a series of exercises to test flexibility and range of motion. Then your physician might run a series of tests such as blood work, MRI, X-ray, CT scan or bone scan in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

The diagnosis of spinal arthritis is common, and affects millions of Americans. Usually spinal arthritis occurs in people over the age of 50, and women are more likely than men to develop the condition. Fortunately, many effective treatment options are available for relief of symptoms, which may include pain and inflammation. Depending on the severity of symptoms, nonprescription medication and moderate exercise may be effective.

Other conservative spine arthritis treatments can include prescription medications, weight loss, hot/cold applications, spinal injections, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and more. Before starting any treatment, consult with your physician who can provide you with a personalized treatment plan. When all other nonsurgical treatments fail to provide you with sufficient relief of symptoms, your physician may recommend back surgery.

Next steps

Open back surgery is a risky procedure that should be used as a last resort for treatment. Before making a decision concerning neck or back surgery, research the new procedures and technologies that are now available. For example, Laser Spine Institute has furthered the development of innovative treatments of neck and back pain through minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries.

These outpatient procedures drastically reduce the pain, recovery time^ and scarring associated with traditional open back surgery. We offer our minimally invasive spine surgery patients a streamlined experience, allowing them to avoid hospital-related costs and return to their lives and the things they enjoy as quickly as possible. To learn more about Laser Spine Institute and how we can help treat your spinal arthritis, contact us today. You can submit your most recent MRI report or CT scan for our team to review to determine your candidacy for one of our procedures.