Spinal Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 18. June 2015 03:56

Osteoarthritis of the spine is a degenerative condition characterized by gradual wear and tear of the cartilage that forms a protective layer above the spinal discs. In some cases, the condition also leads to the development of bone spurs that puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal column. Osteoarthritis is most commonly seen in people above the age of 45 to 50 years.

Causes

  • Age related changes in spine
  • Traumatic injury
  • Genetic defect in spinal cartilage
  • Repetitive stress on spinal joints
  • Excessive weight

Symptoms

  • Constant or intermittent pain in the back and neck
  • Pain increases after physical activity
  • Tenderness on touching the affected area
  • Numbness and tingling sensation
  • Swelling and warm sensation
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty in bending
  • Crunching or grinding sensation in the spinal vertebrae
  • Muscle spasms leading to abnormal curve in the spine

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose Osteoarthritis, the spine surgeon may conduct a physical examination to evaluate the specific areas and movements that cause pain. He may also inquire about the patient’s family medical history as well as the onset of his symptoms. Certain imaging tests may also be recommended to rule out the possibility of other spine problems.

Treatment

The doctor devises a treatment plan after determining the extent of the condition.

  • Lifestyle Modification: Limiting activities that put pressure on the spine, such as repetitive bending or lifting heavy weights, may ease the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. The patient may also be suggested to maintain a healthy weight to control the symptoms of Spinal Osteoarthritis.
  • Medications: The spine surgeon may prescribe certain anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Hot Or Cold Packs: Applying heat or ice packs on the affected area, particularly after periods of physical activity, may reduce swelling and stiffness in the joints.
  • Physical Therapy: Doing strengthening, stretching and range of motion exercises, as recommended by the physical therapist, may relieve pain and increase the spine’s functionality.
  • Surgery: If the condition does not respond to conservative treatment options or leads to the development of other spine problems, surgery might be needed. Depending on the severity of Osteoarthritis, the spine surgeon may treat the arthritic joint, decompress the nerve structures or perform a Spinal Fusion.

The spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco provide complete diagnosis and treatment for Spinal Osteoarthritis. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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