Conservative spondylosis treatment
Spondylosis treatment usually begins with a conservative focus. That’s because an individual with spondylosis is basically experiencing the aches and pains of aging, which, in the vast majority of cases, can be relieved through a regimen of nonsurgical treatments over the course of several weeks or months.
“Spondylosis,” a term sometimes used interchangeably with “spinal osteoarthritis” or “degenerative disc disease,” can be difficult to define since physicians apply it in a variety of situations. Often, though, spondylosis specifically affects the facet joints in the spine. These joints are important because they provide the flexibility in the spine that we require in daily activity, and are also extremely strong and responsible for providing spinal stability.
When aging causes the facet joints to break down, it can lead to a number of symptoms, including inflammation, pain, tenderness and stiffness. Localized joint pain often arises because degeneration of cartilage on a facet joint leads to the irritation of the joint’s medial branch nerves (which carry impulses from the muscles around the spine to the brain). To combat these symptoms, a specialist will typically recommend a course of conservative treatments, which may include a combination of:
- Narcotic pain medication
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Thermotherapy (use of heat in therapy)
- Cryotherapy (use of cold/low temperatures in therapy)
- Posture modification
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle modification (losing weight, limiting or eliminating alcohol and tobacco use, etc.)
Other spondylosis treatment options
In addition to conservative spondylosis treatment methods, some patients also choose to explore alternative, holistic treatments either in lieu of or in addition to traditional techniques. While the efficacy of alternative medicine is a subject of controversy among the mainstream medical community, some patients report finding relief from their spondylosis symptoms via massage, yoga, herbal treatments, acupuncture and other holistic methods. Just like in more traditional conservative treatment methods, you need to first consult with your physician before attempting any of these.
If nonsurgical methods fail to provide relief
In the event that conservative and/or alternative treatments fail to ease your pain and symptoms after several months, a surgical spondylosis treatment may become an option that is worth considering. If your physician has suggested that you undergo surgery for a degenerative spine condition caused by spondylosis, you have many options. For instance, you might consider the minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute. Our surgeons have perfected minimally invasive techniques that require a smaller incision and no muscular disruption, which allows our patients to recover faster than in a traditional open neck or back surgery. Unlike traditional open spine surgery, our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.
To learn more and to schedule an initial consultation, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We’ll also be happy to review your MRI report or CT scan to determine whether you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.