Nonsurgical treatments are almost always the first options a physician will recommend when helping you manage arthritis of the spine or other degenerative neck and back problems. This is because nonsurgical treatment options are often very effective at managing degenerative spine conditions. Except in rare cases, physicians should only recommend surgery when all other nonsurgical therapies have proven ineffective.
Specific Conservative Treatments for Spinal Arthritis
Here are some of the options doctors will recommend upon diagnosing this condition:
- Physical Therapy – Often the first step in managing neck and back problems, physical therapy serves to improve flexibility and mobility while increasing strength. Typical physical therapy treatments include targeted exercises, massage, electrical stimulation, heat therapy, hydrotherapy, and others.
- Pain Management – Many times of acute or chronic back pain can be relieved with treatments such as injections, drugs, medications, spinal bracing, and others.
- Alternative Medicine – Alternative medicine is a broad term used to describe nontraditional therapies including acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, or biofeedback. Although supporting research is limited, some people do report experiencing symptom relief through alternative medicine. Always consult your doctor when attempting new treatments.
- Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic care will likely include adjustments of the spine in order to treat neck and back pain. Chiropractors use techniques like applied pressure, massage, and manual manipulation of the vertebrae and joints. It should be noted that this approach is still the subject of some debate in the mainstream medical field.
As with all medical treatments, it is very important to consult with a physician before starting any treatment program for your spinal arthritis. In addition to medical treatment, there are also some lifestyle choices that promote spine health and can potentially help to lessen the severity of spinal arthritis. These methods are recommended for everyone regardless of you condition and includes:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining proper posture
- Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes
- Sleeping on a mattress of medium firmness to better support the spine
- Remaining active and avoiding an overly sedentary lifestyle
If an individual experiments with different conservative treatments and does not find any relief after several weeks or months, their physician may suggest they consider surgery. While traditional surgery may seem daunting, new technology has allowed for more minimally invasive procedures which require shorter recovery periods and treatment on an outpatient basis.
BEST Health System
Step into the future of healthcare with BEST Health System. Our surgeons specialize in minimally invasive spine procedures which offer patients many benefits, such as a less than 1-inch incision, no unnecessary muscle tearing, and a streamlined experience. For more information on the types of procedures we provide, review our procedures page and contact our team today to get started on the road to recovery. The BEST is yet to come.