Arthritis of the spine, also known as spinal osteoarthritis, affects millions of people over the age of 55. This degenerative spinal condition can occur when the cartilage in the spinal joints wears down following many years of wear and tear, allowing bones to rub against one another. When this happens, joints in the spine can become stiff and the friction produced can cause inflammation, and often, the formation of bone spurs. If a bone spur puts pressure on the spinal cord or a spinal nerve root, symptoms such as localized and radiating pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness can develop and arthritis of the spine treatment may be necessary.
Alternative Treatments for Spinal Osteoarthritis
There are a wide variety of nonsurgical treatments, including pain and anti-inflammatory medications that may help manage your symptoms. As always, you should consult your physician before attempting any type of treatment.
Here are five natural arthritis of the spine treatment options that may help you find the symptom relief you are looking for:
- Chiropractic Manipulation: Regular chiropractic adjustments can help take the pressure off nerves that have been affected by spinal arthritis by putting the spine back into proper alignment.
- Stretching and Strengthening Exercises: Regular exercise can help improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
- Massage Therapy: This form of treatment targets the muscles around the spine to help reduce tension.
- A High-Collagen Diet: Overall joint health can be improved by eating a healthy diet that includes the nutrients needed to help your body produce more collagen. Leafy greens, bone broth, wild salmon, and eggs are a few excellent choices.
- Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce pain so that exercise and physical therapy are more bearable.
- Steroid Injections: An injection of the anti-inflammatory hormone, cortisone, can temporarily relieve pain that results from joint swelling and can also help your physician to pinpoint the exact location of the affected joint.
- Rest: If your spinal arthritis worsens after rigorous use of the joint, intermittent periods of rest may be all that is needed to reduce inflammation and pain. However, be sure to avoid prolonged periods of rest, as it could weaken muscles and lead to more pain.
- Physical Therapy: This treatment describes mild body movements that focus on the joints of the spine, which can help relieve tension and increase circulation in the affected area. Strength-building therapy can also help other parts of the spine take some of the burden off of the arthritic joints. Physical therapy might include lessons on proper body mechanics and lifting techniques.
- Herbal Supplements: You can naturally reduce pain and inflammation by taking supplements that contain fish oil, turmeric, magnesium, and proteolytic enzymes.
BEST Health System
If you have tried these conservative treatment options and still find your joint pain to be debilitating, your physician may recommend surgery as a treatment for spinal arthritis. At BEST Health System, we offer minimally invasive surgery to help treat arthritis of the spine.
Our minimally invasive decompression surgery uses a less than 1-inch incision to remove a portion of the diseased disc or vertebrae in the spine to decompress the impacted nerve root and relieve pain. If your condition is more severe, our board-certified surgeons will use a minimally invasive stabilization surgery to remove the entire diseased disc or vertebra in order to decompress the impacted nerve root in the spinal canal. One the entire disc or vertebra is removed, we will insert an implant into the empty space to stabilize the spine.