Degenerative joint disease is an age-related condition that causes joint inflammation due to the natural breakdown of cartilage that protects the joints. Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease can happen in any of the skeletal joints, but is especially common in the ones that carry the most load, such as the hips, knees, and spine.
When degenerative joint disease occurs in the spinal facet joints, it can cause aches, pains, and stiffness, as well as radiating symptoms in the upper or lower extremities if nerve compression occurs. This can be an alarming condition to be diagnosed with, but you should stay positive and work closely with your doctor to find the most effective treatment option that complements your lifestyle.
Degenerative Joint Disease Treatment and Steps for Spine Health
Upon initial diagnosis of spinal degenerative joint disease, patients are typically recommended to pursue a course of treatment designed to relieve painful symptoms, improve range of motion, and take any necessary steps to improve the overall health of the spine. Degenerative joint disease is not a curable condition, but consistently following a treatment plan and living a spine healthy lifestyle can help you manage your symptoms and potentially slow down the progression of this condition.
Recommended degenerative joint disease treatments include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold compression therapy
- Massage treatment
- Gentle stretching and low-impact exercise
- Nutritional counseling
It is important to take any necessary steps to reduce the stress being placed on the spinal joints such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heavy lifting if possible, and practicing good posture throughout the day. Your doctor will also advise you to avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, as these activities can have a negative effect on the joints.
Spine Surgery for Degenerative Joint Disease
Surgical degenerative joint disease treatment is only considered if symptoms remain severe after thoroughly attempting conservative measures. BEST Health System is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and is a safer alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.
BEST Health System
If you have been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease, or if you are looking to take therapeutic preventative measures, contact BEST Health System. Our team members are dedicated to ensuring all patients receive the care they need and deserve. Reach out today.