Three dangers of leaving arthritis of the spine untreated

Osteoarthritis of the spine occurs when the cartilage in the spinal joints wears away over time. There are many nonsurgical treatments for arthritis of the spine, including pain medication, heat/cold therapy, physical therapy and stretching. Additionally, if your condition has progressed to the point where you require surgery, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of spinal osteoarthritis.

No matter which treatment you attempt, it is essential that you not ignore your spinal osteoarthritis. Below are three things that may occur if you fail to treat your condition:

  1. You could develop additional spine issues. If you fail to treat spinal arthritis, you could develop spinal stenosis, which is characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing can compress the spinal cord and its nerve roots, which in turn could develop into the symptoms of radiculopathy, which include pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and the legs.
  2. You could become sedentary. When you’re coping with chronic neck or back pain, the last thing you want to do is exercise. But inactivity will have a snowball effect on your symptoms — not moving around will only cause your pain and stiffness to get worse, which will further impact your quality of life by preventing you from working and performing other day-to-day activities. Additionally, being sedentary may cause you to gain weight and lose muscle strength, which could lead to separate heart and lung issues.
  3. You could develop psychological issues. The chronic pain caused by failing to treat arthritis of the spine may cause you to develop psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression. This might be especially true if your condition prevents you from performing well at work or taking part in activities with friends and family.

If you’ve been living with arthritis of the spine, please contact Laser Spine Institute today. We would be happy to discuss your treatment options, including whether you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive surgeries.