Degenerative joint disease can sometimes be a painful condition that occurs as the spine naturally weakens over time. Some patients may even experience chronic pain that lessens their quality of life if this condition is left untreated. To find relief from the pain and symptoms of degenerative joint disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask about the nonsurgical treatments available. Many doctors will prescribe degenerative joint disease medication as the first method of treatment for this condition.
Because the pain of degenerative joint disease often comes from nerve compression, pain medication can be a great relief because it blocks the pain receptors along the nerve pathway. However, prior to taking any medication, it is important to meet with your doctor. There are a great number of different medications to consider, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. Your doctor can help you find the appropriate medication and treatment for your condition and medical history. Read on to learn about the various medications and surgical treatment options offered for degenerative joint disease.
Types of degenerative joint disease medication
Some examples of degenerative joint disease medication include:
- Topical creams — may be applied to decrease arthritic pain
- Acetaminophen — is usually the first medication taken for degenerative joint disease because it is gentle on the body and doesn’t cause many potential side effects
- Muscle relaxants — alleviate spasms and relax the muscles around the neck and back
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — including ibuprofen, are effective at reducing soft tissue inflammation that can contribute to pain
- Corticosteroids — may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain
Before starting any medication, it is important that you visit your doctor. Medications have different potential side effects, and they may not interact well with medications you are currently taking.
Further treatment for degenerative joint disease
If you continue to experience neck or back pain as a result of degenerative joint disease and medication is not offering you lasting pain relief, ask your doctor about surgical options. For many patients, the two most common surgical options are traditional open neck or back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.
At USA Spine Care, our minimally invasive spine surgery is often clinically appropriate over open neck or back surgery.^ This is because our procedures are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery and our patients experience shorter recovery times and lower risks of complication.^
To learn more about the advantages of our outpatient procedures, contact our dedicated team today.
Degenerative joint disease can be treated using a minimally invasive decompression surgery or a minimally invasive stabilization surgery, though many patients only require the decompression procedure. This is performed through a small incision that is muscle sparing, in order to quickly get the patient back to the activities they have been missing out on. Take the next step toward pain relief by reaching out to us for a free MRI review* and determining if you are a candidate for our procedures.
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