Don’t Ignore Your Arthritis Pain
If you have been suffering from the pain and stiffness of spinal arthritis, we encourage you to research the many treatment options available to you. Therapies can range from nonsurgical to surgical. The focus of treatment is to relieve your symptoms by reducing the pressure of the arthritic joint on the pinched nerve that is causing your pain.
Before deciding which arthritis treatment is best for you, you should consult your doctor. They can help diagnose your condition by performing a series of physical tests and questions. You may also have diagnostic imagery, such as an MRI or CT scan. Once the doctor determines you have spinal arthritis, you can work together to design an arthritis treatment plan. This plan will help reduce your symptoms effectively.
Conservative Treatment for Arthritis of the Spine
After your doctor has assessed your symptoms and reviewed your test results, he or she may recommend one or several of the following treatments:
- Hot/cold therapy. The application of heat packs will relax muscles and increase circulation, while ice packs can reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may suggest alternating between the two arthritis treatments.
- Medications. There are a wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that may afford you some relief. Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections to control swelling.
- Periods of rest. Intermittent rest may help relieve some of your symptoms, but patients are often advised to continue with moderate activity to prevent muscles in the affected areas from weakening.
- Low-impact aerobic exercises. Your doctor may discuss a possible exercise program with you in order to improve your cardiovascular health and increase the strength of your core muscles.
In addition to these options, you may also seek out alternative arthritis treatments, such as massage therapy and chiropractic manipulation. In many cases, these methods can provide substantial relief from most spinal arthritis symptoms over the course of a few weeks or months.
Considering Surgical Options for Pain Relief
If you don’t find the relief you seek through these or other conservative measures, your doctor may recommend neck or back surgery. If so, it’s important for you to consider your available options. Traditional open neck/back surgery is one approach to treatment for arthritis of the spine. However, there are also minimally invasive surgical options. These include the outpatient procedures performed at BEST Health System, that can prove effective.
For many patients suffering from arthritis of the spine, our minimally invasive facet thermal ablation procedure can help reduce the pain and symptoms of spinal arthritis in the facet joints, which is the most common location for this condition. During the procedure, our surgeons will reduce the arthritic buildup and inflammation in the facet joints with a laser, and then deaden the surrounding nerves to prevent the inflamed facet joint from impacting a nerve root and causing pain. This procedure is typically performed in conjunction with one of our minimally invasive decompression surgeries.
Our minimally invasive procedures offer patients a shorter recovery time. As well as less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery. For more information about the benefits of our procedures, contact BEST Health System.
BEST Health System Can Help
If you are interested in learning more about arthritis treatment options available through BEST Health System, contact our team today. Our board-certified surgeons specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery which allows patients to avoid the long recovery time. Start your path to recovery today and call BEST.