Degenerative Joint Disease – Early Signs 

What is Degenerative Joint Disease

Spinal degenerative joint disease, also called osteoarthritis of the spine, is a common condition with symptoms ranging in severity. Patients are often slow to seek medical attention because degenerative joint disease symptoms develop gradually over the years. However, ignoring the initial signs of degenerative joint disease can have a negative effect on your long-term spine health. In some rare cases, not getting the required treatment can lead to severe complications down the line. This makes it very important to seek medical attention for any pain that persists for more than a few days.

Degenerative Joint Disease Symptoms

One of the most common degenerative joint disease symptoms is the feeling of stiffness or aching in the joints. When it occurs in the spine, deterioration of the joints can make it tough to bend over, especially early in the morning. The effects of degenerative joint disease tend to reduce in severity as the day goes on and the joint becomes better lubricated by the fluid surrounding it. 

Since the pain starts off as temporary, it can be all too easy to write it off as a side effect of aging or sleeping poorly, but it shouldn’t be ignored. The sooner spinal osteoarthritis treatment begins, the greater the chance there is of preventing further damage to the joints. Some severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis can lead to joint deformities that cause further complications. Prompt osteoarthritis treatment can reduce the chances of this occurring.

Degenerative Joint Disease Treatment

Although no particular osteoarthritis treatment is able to stop the progression of osteoarthritis, doctors often recommend making lifestyle changes. These changes will reduce the strain placed on the spine, potentially slowing the degeneration of spinal components. This can include:

  • Losing excess weight
  • Getting regular, low-impact exercise
  • Avoiding high-impact activities and repetitive motions
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Improving posture

All of these changes can improve a patient’s overall quality of life while also contributing to a healthier spine. Patients with spinal degenerative joint disease also find that taking pain and anti-inflammatory medications, participating in physical therapy, and other conservative osteoarthritis treatment approaches can bring relief. A consultation for spine surgery can become an option if making recommended lifestyle changes and fully pursuing conservative treatment does not improve degenerative joint disease symptoms enough to engage in everyday activities without discomfort.

If you have been recommended for surgery to treat your condition but have concerns about the risks and difficulties associated with traditional open spine procedures, contact BEST Health System today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers many advantages to our patients, including an outpatient procedure and no lengthy recovery.

BEST Health System

BEST Health System specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open back procedures. Our procedure offers many benefits, including less risk of infection and no lengthy recovery. For more information on how BEST can help you find relief from chronic neck and back pain, contact us today.