Arthritis of the Spine
Arthritis of the spine is a condition that can occur when the spinal joints deteriorate, leading to inflammation. It is fairly common in individuals over 50 due to the years of daily wear and tears that the spinal joints are subjected to. Every bend and twist of the body stresses the spine, and when you also consider the weight spinal joints must bear, it’s easy to see how degeneration can occur.
Arthritis of the spine occurs in the facet joints, which connect the vertebrae. The contact areas of the joint are coated with cartilage and synovial fluid to allow the bones to glide across one another easily. When this cartilage wears away, bone-on-bone contact can result in inflammation and joint stiffness and lead to the development of a bone spur. If a bone spur forms and compresses a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, additional symptoms such as radiating pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness can appear.
Managing Spinal Osteoarthritis
You’re most likely anxious to learn your arthritis treatment options after this diagnosis. While stopping this condition’s spread completely is impossible, several treatment options can slow its progression. These treatments reduce inflammation, lessen pain, relieve pressure, and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. Conservative arthritis treatment options include:
- Losing excess weight
- Physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Facet injections
- Periods of limited rest
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Massage therapy
If Surgery Becomes Necessary…
Many individuals dealing with painful symptoms due to arthritis of the spine can successfully manage their discomfort by following a conservative treatment plan for several weeks or months. In more severe cases that don’t respond to treatment, however, there are surgical options that may be able to provide needed relief. BEST Health System offers minimally invasive surgery to treat spinal osteoarthritis. Contact BEST today to learn more about treatment options with us.