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Four steps to relieve pain from degenerative joint disease in the spine

Degenerative joint disease describes the gradual deterioration of the cartilage that lines the joints in the body. Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease can occur in any of the body’s joints, and is commonly found within the joints of the spine, called facet joints.

The facet joints withstand a great amount of stress to facilitate movement in the spine. Over time, this pressure can cause the cartilage that lines the facet joints to wear away, leaving the bones to grind against each other, often leading to pain, inflammation and stiffness.

Finding relief from degenerative joint disease

Individuals with degenerative joint disease don’t have to suffer in silence. If you have, or think you may have this potentially debilitating condition, here are four steps you can follow on your path to reclaiming your life from back pain:

  1. Consult with a physician. The first step to achieving an improved quality of life with degenerative joint disease is to consult with a physician who can provide an accurate diagnosis. He or she will likely listen to you describe your symptoms, and may conduct a number of tests to determine whether or not degenerative joint disease is the cause of your pain.
  2. Establish an appropriate course of treatment. Once a degenerative joint disease diagnosis has been given, you and your physician can work together to establish a treatment regimen that will be effective in managing your symptoms. Most often, degenerative joint disease treatment begins with a number of conservative, nonsurgical methods such as pain and anti-inflammatory medication, exercise and stretching, muscle relaxants, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections.
  3. Follow your treatment regimen carefully. It is important to follow your physician’s instructions as closely and carefully as possible to maximize your treatment’s chance of success.
  4. Inform your physician of your progress. It is critical to keep your physician informed of your progress as you undergo treatment, including any new or worsening symptoms that may occur. This will allow him or her to make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan to give you the best chance at a pain-free life.

Degenerative joint disease surgery

Though many patients find conservative treatment sufficient in managing their degenerative joint disease pain, others may require surgery to find relief. Those who are in this position should consider the minimally invasive, outpatient procedures available to them at USA Spine Care.

Our board-certified surgeons+ have helped more than 75,000 people find relief since 2005, setting us apart as the leader in this field. What’s more, our procedures offer numerous advantages over traditional open neck and back surgery, including shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication. To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures, contact USA Spine Care today and our team will provide you with a no-cost review* of your MRI.

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