Spondylosis is a term referring to general age-related spinal degeneration and is sometimes used interchangeably with conditions like spinal osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. As part of the natural aging process, spondylosis affects everyone to some degree or another but only requires treatment in certain situations, such as when spinal narrowing and nerve compression occurs. While these symptoms can be disruptive to your quality of life, conservative treatment options can often be effective in bringing lasting relief.
Specific conservative spondylosis treatments
When aging causes the facet joints or spinal discs to break down, it can lead to a number of symptoms, including inflammation, pain, tenderness and stiffness. Localized joint pain often occurs because degeneration of cartilage on a facet joint leads to the irritation of nerves that carry impulses from the muscles around the spine to the brain. Additionally, bone spurs and displaced disc material can compress the spinal cord or a nerve root and cause radiating symptoms like tingling and numbness in the extremities.
To relieve these symptoms and improve range of motion, doctors will typically recommend a course of conservative treatments, which may include a combination of:
- Pain medication
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Heat therapy
- Cold therapy
- Posture improvement
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking
In addition to conservative spondylosis treatment methods, some patients also choose to explore alternative treatments to supplement a conventional treatment plan. While the effectiveness of alternative medicine is still being researched by the mainstream medical community, some patients report finding relief from their spondylosis symptoms from methods such as massage, yoga, herbal treatments and acupuncture. Just like in more traditional conservative treatment methods, you need to first consult with your physician before attempting any of these.
When to consider spondylosis surgery
In the event that conservative or alternative treatments are unable to improve pain and symptoms after several months, surgical spondylosis treatment may become an option. If your doctor has suggested that you undergo surgery for a degenerative spine condition caused by spondylosis, you have many options, including the minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures provided at USA Spine Care. Unlike traditional open spine surgery that requires overnight hospitalization and muscle-disruption, our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with muscle-sparing techniques. To learn more, contact USA Spine Care today.
We’ll also be happy to provide a free review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine whether you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.
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