When starting to receive arthritis of the spine treatment, it’s important to have the right expectations. While arthritis cannot be reversed or cured, conservative treatments can provide significant symptom relief and help avoid the need for surgery. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the spine, your physician can discuss the treatments at your disposal and give you recommendations to help improve your chances for optimal results. At USA Spine Care, we understand the debilitating effect spinal arthritis can have on your work, relationships and the activities you enjoy. The following advice is intended to help you become an involved, educated patient with a positive mindset about your treatment.
Spinal arthritis treatment advice
Here are some examples of recommendations you might receive prior to beginning arthritis of the spine treatment.
- Know your limits. One of the inherent difficulties of arthritis treatment is that often you are in so much pain that the recommended treatments are uncomfortable — or perhaps even impossible to undertake. It’s important to understand your limits and try not to overdo it. Focus on small results and build on those. Arthritis didn’t develop overnight, and treatment often requires time to be successful.
- Consider short-term solutions. The use of anti-inflammatories and pain medications can be helpful in the short term, not only for the obvious pain relief but also because patients often find they can pursue more and different treatments when they aren’t facing quite as much discomfort. Stretching exercises, for example, can be highly effective but if a patient is too uncomfortable, they might not be attempted. By relieving pain temporarily, medication can make it possible for a patient to try these techniques.
- Keep a running dialogue with your doctor. While you might be eager to try a new treatment you read about online or is recommended by a friend, you should always speak with your doctor before trying a different technique. The wrong approach may prove ineffective and waste your time or worsen the condition.
- Commit. One of the best things you can do to ensure the success of your arthritis of the spine treatment is to commit to the treatment plan. In the long term, making necessary healthy life changes like losing weight, quitting smoking, improving posture and eating a nutritious diet can be the biggest contributors to lasting relief. But they require commitment to the instructions given to you by your doctor.
To learn more
Surgery is usually seen as a last-resort treatment option for arthritis of the spine, but it may be recommended if conservative treatment is fully pursued without sufficiently improving symptoms. If you are starting to explore neck or back surgery, reach out to USA Spine Care to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery.
We offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.