Natural remedies for pain caused by degenerative joint disease

Spinal degenerative joint disease is a condition characterized by the loss of cartilage in the facet joints, which serve as the connection point for the vertebrae. In a healthy facet joint, the bones glide smoothly across the cartilage and synovial fluid, allowing the body to bend and twist. After many years of wear and tear, however, the cartilage can break down, allowing the bones to grind against one another. This can lead to stiffness, inflammation and, in some cases, the formation of bone spurs. Also known as osteophytes, bone spurs are smooth growths of calcium that can protrude from the joint and put pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root, producing radiating pain and other troubling symptoms.

Treating degenerative joint disease in the spine

If you are diagnosed with degenerative joint disease in the spine and are experiencing painful symptoms, your physician will likely recommend you try a combination of conservative treatments for several months. This might include over-the-counter or prescription pain medications, corticosteroid injections and other methods that can provide temporary pain and inflammation relief. However, if you are hoping to find spinal degenerative joint disease pain relief without using medications, there are several options to choose from, including:

  • Light exercise — to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and increase flexibility
  • A healthy diet — to help manage inflammation and encourage the body to produce joint-cushioning collagen
  • Losing excess pounds — to reduce the stress being placed on the spine
  • Getting adequate rest — to help relieve joint stress
  • Attempting natural pain relief methods — including acupuncture and massage therapy

Additional treatment options

If natural treatments don’t provide you with adequate relief from your degenerative joint disease pain, you may want to consult with your doctor about your surgical options. While he or she could suggest open spine surgery to decompress the affected nerve root(s), minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute is often clinically appropriate and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our outpatient procedures. Be sure to ask how to receive a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for our surgery.