Chronic joint pain

Chronic joint pain, specifically in the spine, can be detrimental to your daily activities. Joint pain is often accompanied by joint inflammation, which can contribute to limited mobility and pain when moving or bending.

Although there are many potential causes of chronic joint pain, it can often be attributed to one of the many forms of arthritis that affect millions of people as they age. Arthritis of the spine, or osteoarthritis, is one of the most common forms of arthritis that develops as the spine weakens with age. This condition affects the facet joints in the spine, which connect and hinge the vertebrae, allowing the spine to bend and move easily.

As the spine ages, the cartilage that protects the facet joints from the movement of the vertebrae wears down, leaving the joint exposed to the constant grinding of pivoting vertebrae. Eventually, this can cause the joint to damage and develop arthritis, which can lead to inflammation and swelling in the facet joints.

The inflammation of spinal arthritis can cause chronic localized pain — as well as other symptoms like limited mobility and pain that radiates into other areas of the body.

Conservative treatment for chronic joint pain

In addition to chronic joint pain, spinal arthritis can cause a series of additional symptoms, such as:

  • Radiating pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Limited mobility

These symptoms are caused by the inflammation of a facet joint pressing against a nearby nerve root.

Typically, these symptoms can be managed conservatively, using treatments such as pain medication, physical therapy, exercise, stretching, behavior modification and others. However, if chronic facet joint pain persists after several weeks of conservative treatment, a physician may suggest surgery as an option.

Minimally invasive treatment for spinal arthritis

If your physician has suggested that you consider surgery to treat the symptoms of spinal arthritis, you should contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery^, and our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication.

We often recommend minimally invasive facet thermal ablation to treat chronic joint pain, though our team will need to review your MRI report or CT scan before making an accurate treatment recommendation. A minimally invasive facet thermal ablation reduces the inflammation in the joint and then numbs the surrounding nerve roots to help prevent future pain.

For more information about the minimally invasive procedures we offer, or to find out if you are a candidate for our spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.