Spondylosis treatment information
Spondylosis treatment is usually focused on reducing spinal joint pain and inflammation. Loosely translated, spondylosis means spinal problem. The term is often used to describe the general effects of spinal degeneration, or osteoarthritis, which can result from age-related changes and ongoing wear and tear.
Over time, several problems can develop in the spine that require spondylosis treatment. The shock-absorbing spinal discs naturally lose water content, which can make them less effective at cushioning the spinal bones. As a result, bone-on-bone contact can occur. In response, the body may produce protective bony deposits (bone spurs) in an affected joint.
Dehydrated spinal discs can also become misshapen, sometimes bulging past their normal boundaries and possibly developing cracks or tears. This can allow some a disc’s gel-like inner material to seep out into the spinal canal.
Excess tissue like bone spurs and disc material can crowd the already narrow spinal canal and pressure nearby nerve roots or the spinal cord itself. This can cause symptoms like pain, stiffness, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness that may require spondylosis treatment.
Conservative spondylosis treatment
In almost all cases, the pain and other discomfort associated with spinal degeneration can be managed effectively with conservative treatments. Some options include:
- Limited rest — In severe cases, a brief period of rest (no more than two to three days) can be helpful. However, physical activity is important because it can increase blood flow and promote the circulation of fluids around the spine, which can help reduce inflammation.
- Physical therapy — Targeted stretches and exercises can strengthen the core muscles that support the degenerated area of the spine. This can help relieve pressure on compressed nerve tissue.
- Hot/cold therapy — The application of heat to a painful area can promote comfort and relaxation. Also, heat can enhance the flow of oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissue, helping it to heal. Alternatively, the application of an ice pack can reduce blood flow and help ease inflammation.
- Medications — Over-the-counter and prescription medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain relievers taken as necessary, can reduce spinal inflammation and relieve the associated discomfort.
- Lifestyle modifications — Positive habits like practicing good posture, eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy body weight and not smoking can lead to generally good health as well as improved spinal health.
- Alternative treatments — Some patients experience symptom improvement with yoga, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage and acupuncture.
If surgical spondylosis treatment is required
Chronic pain and other symptoms that continue or worsen after several weeks or months of conservative treatment may lead you to consider spondylosis surgery. If you are considering surgery, you should know that a traditional open spine procedure which involves large incisions and a lengthy recovery, is not the only option. In many cases, there are minimally invasive, outpatient alternatives.
To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient surgery, which offers many advantages over traditional open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.