Deciding when to pursue degenerative joint disease treatment can be a challenge — especially for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. After all — if you’re able to go about your day with minimal disruption to your usual routine, finding the time to visit an orthopedic specialist or other care provider may be easy to put off until later.
However, because untreated symptoms can lead to more complications down the road, it can be very beneficial to take a proactive approach to degenerative joint disease treatment. Learning more about working with a doctor to explore the full range of treatment options can be a great first step in improving the long-term health of your spine.
Taking the first step in degenerative joint disease treatment
In addition to your primary care doctor, an orthopedic specialist can help you begin treatment. An appointment with a specialist doesn’t mean you’ll jump straight into a complicated treatment plan or be immediately recommended for surgery. After an evaluation, you’ll typically be recommended a course of conservative treatment methods such as medication, exercise, posture improvement and physical therapy. You can also consider alternative therapies such as yoga, chiropractic care and therapeutic massage.
Doctors will also recommend specific lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating a healthier diet
- Managing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol intake
These are all strategies that can reduce the amount of stress placed on the spine, helping to prevent the need for more aggressive treatment.
If conservative options don’t produce the desired results
While conservative treatments can be beneficial, some patients eventually turn to surgery for more meaningful symptom control. So, what are the signs you might need more advanced treatment?
- Conservative treatments that used to be effective no longer provide enough pain relief
- Your symptoms are making it too difficult for you to work or perform everyday activities
- Symptoms that were once mild or moderate are gradually becoming more severe
Even if surgery is recommended, patients often live with chronic pain for years in order to avoid the risks and difficulties associated with traditional open neck or back procedures. USA Spine Care offers an alternative with minimally invasive spine surgery. Our outpatient procedures have helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain since 2005. To learn more about our degenerative joint disease treatment options, contact us today.
A member of our dedicated team can help you receive your no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.