Degenerative joint disease prevention

Degenerative joint disease (DJD), otherwise called spinal osteoarthritis or arthritis of the spine, is a common condition affecting millions of Americans.

Out of more than 100 types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most frequently diagnosed form, and it commonly develops in the facet joints of the spine. Because the facet joints are responsible for bringing the vertebrae of the spine together and allowing them to hinge and bend, the inflammation of the facet joints from a degenerative joint disease like osteoarthritis can be painful and can result in limited movement.

Preventing degenerative joint disease

Degenerative joint disease can occur when the cartilage around the facet joints wears down over time. Although the most common cause of degenerative joint disease is the natural aging process of the spine, there are some lifestyle factors that can help you avoid or slow down the potential development of this condition. These lifestyle changes will help promote overall spine health so you can have your best chance against degenerative joint disease.

Some of the most important prevention methods of degenerative joint disease include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight puts added stress on the weight-bearing areas of the body, including the spine.
  • Exercise to keep core muscles and joints strong.
  • Perform exercises and stretching specific to the lower back and neck, such as yoga.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Maintain the correct posture when standing and sitting.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes, and limit the intake of alcohol. Smoking has been linked to the degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae. Alcohol dehydrates, can contribute to weight gain, and can increase your risk of damaged discs and joints.

Treatment for degenerative joint disease

If preventive measures have not stopped the development of joint disease and you are experiencing pain in the back or neck, contact our spine care specialists at Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive spine surgery that helps reduce the inflammation in the facet joints so you can return to your normal lifestyle. Depending on the location and severity of your degenerative joint disease, information about our minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery will be provided. Contact us today and ask for a review of your MRI or CT scan.