Medication is One of the Most Commonly Recommended Arthritis of the Spine Treatments
When arthritis of the spine causes bothersome symptoms that interfere with everyday life, people with the condition often visit their physicians for help treating the issue. In many cases, physicians will recommend a treatment regimen that includes long-term approaches such as diet modifications and developing a better exercise routine, along with options that can address problems more immediately, e.g., medications for pain.
Common arthritis medications
Perhaps the most commonly suggested medications for arthritis of the spine symptoms are over-the-counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. There are also stronger prescription medications within the NSAID family. These medications work by reducing the inflammation near the arthritic joint, which can mitigate pain and other symptoms. NSAIDs can be harsh on the stomach, however, as they can cause cramping, stomach aches and other gastrointestinal issues.
If a patient needs a pain reliever but experienced harsh side effects from NSAIDs or is known to be allergic to aspirin, acetaminophen is another useful over-the-counter medication to use for spinal arthritis. While acetaminophen won’t treat inflammation, it can address pain caused by arthritis without many of the side effects that NSAIDs have. However, people who have a history of liver problems will need to be monitored while taking this medication as it can cause damage to the organ.
Spinal arthritis injections
In most cases, the preceding medications provide sufficient relief for patients, but there are rare cases in which a physician may recommend corticosteroid injections directly into the arthritic joints. This procedure can help temporarily alleviate inflammation and pain and restore some mobility to the joint, but it can also damage the joint over repeated injections. For this reason, such treatments are often limited to only a few per year.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the spine and traditional treatments like medication aren’t providing you with the relief that you’ve been seeking, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our experienced surgeons perform minimally invasive spine surgeries that are designed to alleviate the symptoms associated with spinal arthritis and other degenerative spine problems.