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What can you do for degenerative joint disease?

Degenerative joint disease is an age-related condition that causes joint inflammation due to the natural breakdown of cartilage that protects the joints. Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease can happen in any of the skeletal joints, but is especially common in the ones that carry the most load, such as the hips, knees and spine.

When degenerative joint disease occurs in the spinal facet joints, it can cause aches, pains and stiffness, as well as radiating symptoms in the upper or lower extremities if nerve compression occurs. This can be an alarming condition to be diagnosed with, but you should stay positive and work closely with your doctor because there are many effective options for degenerative joint disease treatment.

Degenerative joint disease treatment and steps for spine health

Upon initial diagnosis of spinal degenerative joint disease, patients are typically recommended to pursue a course of treatment designed to relieve painful symptoms, improve range of motion and take any necessary steps to improve the overall health of the spine. Degenerative joint disease is not a curable condition, but consistently following a treatment plan and living a healthy lifestyle can help you manage symptoms and potentially slow down the progression of this condition.

Recommended degenerative joint disease treatments include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot and cold compression therapy, such as a heating pad or a cold pack
  • Massage treatment
  • Gentle stretching and low-impact exercise
  • Nutritional counseling

It is important to take any necessary steps to reduce the stress being placed on the spinal joints such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heavy lifting if at all possible and practicing good posture throughout the day. Your doctor will also advise you to avoid tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption, as these activities can have a negative effect on the joints.

Spine surgery for degenerative joint disease

Surgical degenerative joint disease treatment is only considered if symptoms remain severe after thoroughly attempting conservative measures. USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ Our outpatient procedures can treat degenerative joint disease and related conditions like bone spurs using muscle-sparing techniques that offer many benefits to our patients. To learn more, contact our caring and dedicated team today.

Ask for your free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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