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New York, NY 10010
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Spine arthritis treatment
Spinal arthritis is a common back condition treated by Dr. Brisson at our New York City office. Also known as osteoarthritis of the spine, degenerative spinal arthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the joints and discs in the neck and lower back begin to degenerate.
Along with degenerative disc disease, spine arthritis is one of the two main types of degenerative spine disease. Both of these diseases are commonly caused by age-related deterioration of the spine. Other causes of arthritis in the spine include injury, trauma, and genetic defect.
The disintegration of the protective cartilage leads to increased friction between the bones of the facet joints, which causes swelling, stiffness, and lower back pain. Some people experience only minor discomfort, while others may experience severe lower back pain that interferes with their daily activities. In addition to these symptoms, degenerative spine arthritis is also a common cause of bone spurs, or excess bone growth from the body’s reaction to increased friction. Bone spurs can put added pressure on the nerves in the spine, leading to weakness or numbness in the arms and legs.
Because there are limited options for curing cartilage degeneration, arthritis in the spine is usually treated by focusing on pain relief and improving the function of the affected joints. To treat the pain, Dr. Brisson may recommend pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and topical ointments, as well as corticosteroid injections into the affected area.
Other ways to relieve symptoms of spinal arthritis include complementary and alternative therapy such as acupuncture, massage, and heat or cold compresses. Besides pain relief, back arthritis treatment emphasizes exercise, which increases the strength and flexibility of the joints to combat the effects of degeneration. For example, Dr. Brisson may suggest specific exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the joints, as well as range-of-motion exercises to improve general flexibility.
Many patients seeking spinal arthritis treatment in NYC and elsewhere generally find relief in medication and lifestyle changes, but severe or debilitating cases of spinal osteoarthritis may require back surgery. In these cases, Dr. Brisson will discuss your options with you and determine the appropriate surgical procedure that will help your individual situation.