Complications in your spinal column and bone structure can cause discomfort and affect your quality of life. Spinal osteoarthritis is one such condition that causes extensive stress on the cartilage joints. Unfortunately, the condition is irreversible and can progress to long-term disability in severe cases. Seeking pain management services helps alleviate the discomfort and manage complications.
What Is Spinal Osteoarthritis?
Spinal osteoarthritis is a condition that results from spinal cartilage deterioration. Spine facet joints have elastic tissue that offers the necessary lubrication for normal operations. The condition wears the cartilage coating and tissue down, increasing the pressure on the discs and joints. Such patients experience pain with movement, which also negatively affects their range of motion.
What Are Causes of Spinal Osteoarthritis?
Doctors do not know exactly what causes spinal osteoarthritis, but they have identified some risk factors including experiencing spine trauma, aging, and being a female. If your family has a history of this disease and your job requires repetitive stressful motions, contact your doctor to talk about what steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of being affected by this debilitating condition.
How to Diagnose Spinal Osteoarthritis
Some of the symptoms you can experience when you have spinal osteoarthritis include numbness, tenderness on your spine, and swelling in your back. If you notice these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Spinal osteoarthritis can deteriorate quickly.
A doctor will run imaging tests such as MRIs and X-rays to get an in-depth look at your spine. They will check for bone spurs, bone damage, and loss of cartilage. Your doctor will also run blood tests to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms. They may also collect a fluid sample from the affected joints.
Ways To Slow Down Spinal Osteoarthritis
The management of spinal osteoarthritis revolves around keeping the symptoms in check. Pain relief is what most patients will need as they live with the illness and work to slow down the condition.
Here are some ways to slow down spinal osteoarthritis, including:
Spinal osteoarthritis causes pressure on the spinal column. As a result, the affected area causes so much discomfort for patients. The condition worsens in overweight persons since they experience more pain due to the increased strain.
Weight management is key to alleviating some pressure and pain within the affected area. It means that the patient enjoys significant relief while managing spinal osteoarthritis. The right body weight also offsets the risk of developing other health problems.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Muscle pain often accompanies spinal osteoarthritis from the onset. With time, the affected areas experience stiff muscles that can be quite uncomfortable. One of the ways to slow down the condition’s progression is through heat and cold therapy.
Patients that experience sore joints should try using a hot or cold compress within the area. You can offset the condition’s development in the area for a considerable time. Repeating the process several times each day can help alleviate the pain.
The muscles have to be in tip-top shape to effectively slow down spinal osteoarthritis. Resting the muscles reduces inflammation and swelling to aid in managing the problem. Adequate sleep offers your body much-needed rest while helping with effective pain relief.
Most patients with spinal osteoarthritis also experience muscle stiffness in the back and neck area. Stiff muscles can cause discomfort, but there are several exercises you can perform to relieve it.
Pain consultants recommend a range of exercises to deal with muscle stiffness. Several minutes of physical movement each day improves the range of motion within the body. The effect is better functionality and lesser pain within the area.
Patients will often start with low impact and gentle exercises like swimming, walking, and yoga. Stretching also helps improve flexibility, effectively dealing with any pain in the area.
Work With a Pain Management Expert
Worn-out spinal cartilages due to osteoarthritis often irritate the surrounding areas. Joint pain can be uncomfortable, but pain management experts ensure proper management of the condition. The professionals recommend the best solutions to slow down spinal osteoarthritis effects for lasting comfort. The therapy sessions that each patient goes through aim at reminding them what a pain-free life feels like.