How to seek treatment when spinal arthritis causes neck pain

Due to natural changes, our bodies begin to break down over time. This breakdown frequently happens in our joints, as the cartilage, membranes and spinal discs gradually wear down or shrink, increasing friction and promoting distortion of the joint. Due to the weight and movement it must support, the spine is especially vulnerable to this wear, which can lead to degenerative conditions like arthritis that can cause pain throughout the spinal column, including the neck.

Spinal arthritis can cause pain, stiffness and other symptoms that can be severely disruptive to your life, affecting relationships, work and your favorite activities. By learning more about the causes of spinal osteoarthritis and the full range of treatment options, you can be a more engaged patient and make decisions about your care with the best chance of achieving lasting relief.

Osteoarthritis defined

Osteoarthritis is inflammation caused by the breaking down of cartilage within joints. This deterioration leads to bone-on-bone contact and the overgrowth of bone in response to this friction. This overgrowth can result in pain, loss of joint function and structural deformity in the joint. When this process occurs in the facet joints of the spine it is known as spinal arthritis, facet disease or spondylosis.

These conditions can come about as part of the aging process, but lifestyle choices such as poor posture, smoking and carrying extra weight can speed up their development.

Treating spinal arthritis in the neck

Upon being diagnosed with arthritis as the underlying cause of neck pain, the first step should be to create a personalized conservative treatment plan. Typical options include:

  • Lifestyle changes such as weight management, posture improvement or quitting smoking
  • Periods of rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Light exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Facet joint injections

If these treatments are not effective to bring you enough pain relief, however, your physician might recommend surgery to address the effects of spinal arthritis to relieve your neck or back pain.

If you are exploring the possibility of spine surgery but have concerns about the risks and difficulties associated with traditional open spine procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. We provide minimally invasive spine surgery performed on an outpatient basis and it is a safer and effective^ alternative to traditional open spine surgery.

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your spinal arthritis and neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We are happy to offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.