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Four tips that could make your spinal degenerative joint disease treatment plan more effective

When it comes to degenerative joint disease treatment, the most effective approach varies from one person to the next. Ibuprofen, for example, may provide considerable pain relief for one person while being largely ineffective for another. The same can be said for physical therapy, prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants and activity modifications.

Personalizing your treatment plan

Because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all degenerative joint disease treatment plan, it’s important for each person to try out a variety of options to determine the most effective approach. Throughout this process, the following tips can help:

  1. Keep track of your results. In a small notebook or day planner, make a note of any specific treatments that you used that day and what results you achieved.* This can be especially valuable if you’re using more than one method at once and want to determine which combinations work best for you without the risk of forgetting.
  2. Consider complementary and alternative therapies. Options like acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage therapy can all help supplement the traditional treatments chosen by you and your physician. Just remember that these options are best used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan — not as a total replacement for traditional therapies.
  3. Stay consistent. It’s hard to determine how well something works (or doesn’t work) if you only use it some of the time. If you’re in physical therapy, be sure to attend every session and always complete the at-home exercise recommendations. If you’re on a specific medication, be sure to follow the exact dosage and timing guidelines given to you by your physician.
  4. Find options for break-through pain. While consistency is key for most treatments, some, such as applying a hot pack or ice pack to your neck or back, can be used as needed. For instance, you may be able to use a basic over-the-counter anti-inflammatory on a day-to-day basis, yet you can still ask your physician for a stronger prescription painkiller to use on days when the pain is more intense than usual.

When nonsurgical treatment isn’t effective

For most people, nonsurgical treatments are all that are necessary to keep pain and discomfort to a minimum. However, sometimes pain persists despite multiple attempts at conservative degenerative joint disease treatment, surgery might become a treatment to consider.

At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures for a variety of neck and back conditions, including degenerative joint disease. To find out if you’re a candidate, contact us today.

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