What Treatments Are Available For Spinal Osteoarthritis?

Spinal osteoarthritis occurs when you get arthritis of the spine. Osteoarthritis is essentially a degenerative joint disease that can occur with any joints in your body. It is caused by the cartilage over your bones wearing down and degenerating. 

When you have it of the spine, it is caused by the cartilage over your joints and discs of your spine, including your neck and back, breaking down. This leads to pain and inflammation, and eventually, lack of mobility. You can get spinal osteoarthritis from injury or trauma to the joint, from the natural aging process, or from a genetic defect. Here are the treatment options available for spinal osteoarthritis.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The main symptom of osteoarthritis in the spine is pain in the upper back and neck area. Pain in the spine is not usually experienced in the spinal column itself, but travels to the back and neck. You may also notice stiffness, which is from the inflammation of the joints affected. This stiffness can cause lack of mobility. If you have numbness in your arms or legs with the other symptoms, the condition may also be affecting the spinal cord and spinal nerves. If your back pain feels better when you lie down, this is another common symptom of spinal osteoarthritis.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should consult your doctor right away. They will first need to diagnose the condition through a physical examination and series of tests. The first test is typically an x-ray, which allows your doctor to get a closer look at your back and spine to see if it is arthritis that is causing your pain and stiffness.

Treatment Options

Shortly after diagnosing you with spinal osteoarthritis, your doctor will discuss your treatment options. The good news is that most treatments for this type of arthritis are non-surgical and virtually pain-free. There are a variety of options, with the success depending on your body and severity of the arthritis. Here are some treatment options to consider:

Gentle exercise – In order to start improving your mobility and movements, you will need to begin with gentle exercising. Your doctor will let you know what exercises are best for you. Swimming is a good option because it is very gentle on your body but also gets your heart pumping and body moving. Other options include mild strengthening exercises to help your joints get stronger, aerobic exercise, and flexibility and range-of-motion exercises.

Chiropractic treatments – Among the non-surgical treatments, chiropractors typically have the best methods for treating arthritis. They will use several different chiropractic methods for spinal osteoarthritis, starting with massage therapy. This is a gentle massage, instead of the typical adjustments performed by chiropractors. They may also use other methods, including hot and cold therapy, and nerve stimulation.

Medications and ointments – Your doctor may also ask you to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen. NSAIDs are great for relieving pain and reducing inflammation. There are also topical ointments that can be applied to your neck and back to help you find relief.

For more information, contact a business such as North Pole Chiropractic.