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Are there spinal degenerative joint disease treatments I can attempt before considering surgery?

When it comes to degenerative joint disease treatment for the spine, it is important to know you have many options. In fact, a large number of people diagnosed with this condition find they can sufficiently manage their symptoms with a course of conservative options. Surgical intervention tends to be reserved for those patients with severe symptoms that do not respond to other treatment approaches.

Recommended conservative treatments

Upon diagnosis of degenerative joint disease, treatment typically begins conservatively with a course of nonsurgical techniques. These can include:

  • Low-impact exercises like walking or swimming
  • Stretching techniques like yoga, Pilates or tai chi
  • Heating pads to decrease stiffness and improve mobility
  • Ice packs to relieve swelling and numb discomfort
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and discomfort
  • Over-the-counter pain medication to temporarily reduce pain
  • Facet joint injections that combine a numbing agent and steroid medication to remove pain and relieve inflammation in the degenerated joint
  • Healthy dieting and activity to lose excess body weight

While there are many different treatments available, what works for one patient doesn’t always work for another. A doctor will take the patient’s overall health, the severity of their symptoms and many other variables into consideration when developing a treatment plan. This can require a certain degree of trial and error while the perfect combination of treatments is found. As a result, the patient must have the right expectations and understand that relief is unlikely to come overnight.

When to consider surgery for degenerative joint disease

If conservative treatment is exhausted after a period of time agreed upon by you and your doctor and has been unable to provide lasting relief and a return to normal activity, surgery may become an option. At USA Spine Care we provide minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^ Our highly skilled surgeons can access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision to treat degenerative joint disease and other spine conditions. The result is a streamlined outpatient experience for our patients that offers a reduced risk of complication compared to traditional procedures.

To learn about your options, contact us today. Our caring team can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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