Spinal osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis of the spine, can be extremely painful and limiting. If you or a loved one are suffering from this condition, you know how much it can impact daily activities. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options to explore with your orthopedic surgeon.
Diagnosis of spinal osteoarthritis is the first step toward getting relief and resuming your regular daily routine. Along with an evaluation and thorough medical history, x-rays can provide information necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Once the source of pain and discomfort in the back and neck has been identified, a physician such as an orthopedic spine surgeon can work with you to develop a treatment plan.
Surgery can be an effective form of treatment for spinal osteoarthritis but it is not the only option. In many cases, arthritis can be treated non-operatively. Orthopedic spine surgeons will not resort to surgery unless it is the best treatment option for the individual.
Here are some of the steps an orthopedic surgeon may take to treat spinal osteoarthritis:
- Weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight: This step can be effective in treating symptoms of osteoarthritis as well as promoting many other health benefits.
- Exercise including both strengthening and aerobic exercise: Just as with weight loss, exercise promotes many positive benefits including heart health, increased circulation and lower blood pressure.
- Physical therapy
- Use of anti-inflammatory medications: These medications may include aspirin, ibuprofren and naproxen sodium.
If you are suffering from spinal osteoarthritis, chances are you have experienced a significant change in your daily life. In addition to the physical restrictions, the mental and emotional toll can really make an impact on your overall health. Be sure to make an appointment with a qualified physician such as an orthopedic spine surgeon to get an accurate diagnosis and develop the best treatment plan for your individual needs.