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Four common degenerative joint disease treatments

Degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is a common condition marked by the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the joints throughout the body — including the facet joints of the spine. It is usually caused by the natural aging process, although factors like obesity, smoking and high-impact exercise can accelerate its progression.

Common degenerative joint disease treatments

If you have degenerative joint disease in your spine, it’s important to consult with your physician regarding what treatment options would be most appropriate for your specific case. Depending on your symptoms, lifestyle and overall health, your physician may suggest a combination of the following treatments:

  • Gentle exercise and stretching — Strengthening and stretching the muscles that support your spine can help relieve pain and dysfunction from degenerative joint disease. Be sure your physician approves of your exercise regimen, though, as certain movements can actually make your symptoms worse.
  • Medication — Your physician may recommend over-the-counter or prescription drugs to help alleviate pain and inflammation and improve mobility.
  • Hold/cold compresses — Heating pads can help boost circulation around the injured area and encourage healing, while ice packs can reduce inflammation and numb pain.
  • Lifestyle adjustments — An important part of treatment is to avoid habits and activities that can make your symptoms worse, like unhealthy eating, smoking, too much inactivity, high-impact exercise and alcohol abuse.

Many people also turn to alternative therapies as a complement to clinical treatment. Popular alternative therapies for back pain include aromatherapy, deep tissue massage, chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture.

Minimally invasive procedures for degenerative joint disease

While the majority of patients are able to find symptom relief through conservative degenerative joint disease treatment, some may require surgical intervention to stabilize the spinal column and decompress or deaden affected nerves.

If the thought of undergoing traditional open spine surgery is causing anxiety, consider reaching out to USA Spine Care. As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, our board-certified+ surgeons have helped more than 75,000 patient find relief since 2005. Furthermore, these procedures only require a less than 1-inch incision and involve muscle-sparing techniques that lead to a shorter recovery period^ than traditional surgery.

Contact USA Spine Care today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.

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