Degenerative joint diseases of the spine is a form of osteoarthritis affecting the spinal facet joints. If you have been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease, you may experience symptoms such as pain, weakness, swelling, and stiffness. If you have noticed these symptoms, you should meet with your doctor to get treatment. Although this condition may seem overwhelming, it is very common and the CDC reports 32.5 million US adults have it.
Degenerative joint disease of the spine shares symptoms with other spine conditions, such as spondylitis. To ensure you get the appropriate treatment that offers you the best chance of continuing a healthy, active lifestyle, it is important to not self-diagnose or self-treat your symptoms.
How is One Diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease of the Spine
When you see your doctor for an appointment, they will usually ask you to describe the intensity and location of your symptoms. You should also be prepared to discuss you and your family’s medical history. Your doctor should then perform a full physical examination that includes feeling of painful areas and conducting movement tests to check for diminished range of motion.
In order to be diagnosed with degenerative joint disease of the spine, you may need diagnostic tests. These may include:
- CT scan
- Blood work
Degenerative Joint Disease Treatment
If you are diagnosed with a joint disease such as osteoarthritis, initial treatment is usually conservative in nature. Common treatment options include:
- Pain or anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- Low-impact exercise
- Intermittent rest
It is always best to consider degenerative joint disease treatment options before surgical intervention. This usually consists of a combination of treatments in addition to a healthy lifestyle.
If you have not found relief from conservative treatment, surgery may be an option. While traditional open back surgery requires the surgeon to make a long incision in the back muscles, the minimally invasive surgery at BEST Health System is a safer and effective alternative.
BEST Health System
BEST Health System is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. If you have been suffering from back pain, contact our team today. The BEST is yet to come.