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What are the benefits of cryotherapy for someone with degenerative joint disease?

Degenerative joint disease, a term for osteoarthritis, refers to the deterioration of cartilage and resulting joint inflammation that occurs as part of the natural aging process. Along with other heavy load-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, the facet joints in the spine are especially vulnerable to developing this condition. Common symptoms of spinal degenerative joint disease include neck pain, back pain, stiffness and a grinding sensation known as crepitus. Inflamed joints and bone spurs related to degenerative joint disease can also lead to nerve compression that can cause shooting pain and tingling and numbness in the extremities.

If you have been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease, you should be aware of all the treatment options available for this condition. Common conservative therapies include anti-inflammatory medication, spinal injections, massage and physical therapy. Additionally many doctors will recommend cryotherapy due to the potential benefits it can offer patients dealing with this condition.

Overview of cryotherapy for degenerative joint disease

Cryotherapy is a term for any form of medical treatment that involves the use of cold temperatures. There are a range of specific applications, from simply applying an ice pack to the area to whole body cryotherapy that involves exposing the body to freezing temperatures for a period of two to four minutes. Cryotherapy can offer the following benefits for degenerative joint disease:

  • Temporarily numbs a painful area
  • Relieves swelling and inflammation

Talk to your doctor about which form of cryotherapy may be best for you and your condition and make sure to follow any directions you are given exactly. Prolonged exposure to cold can have adverse effects on your skin and circulation, so it’s important to limit the length of cryotherapy sessions.

When to consider surgery for degenerative joint disease

By following a conservative treatment plan and making necessary lifestyle changes, it is very often possible to find lasting relief from the symptoms of degenerative joint disease. However, some patients continue to experience debilitating symptoms even after fully attempting a course of treatments such as cryotherapy.

If you are being recommended to undergo spine surgery for degenerative joint disease, contact the caring and dedicated team at USA Spine Care. Our minimally invasive outpatient procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain since 2005. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our board-certified surgeons+ can access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision to remove the source of symptoms.

To learn more and to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, ask for your no-cost MRI or CT scan review* today.

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