Arthritis of the spine is progressive diseases which become worse as you grow old or if you consistently continue to injure an area of your spine. At the time, when the cartilage between two aligning facet joints starts to break down, motion begins to be impaired, it is leading to mechanical pain and motion range of your spine starts decreasing then is a condition which is arthritis.
How it Affects the Spine?
When you experience pain from arthritis in your spine, a protective reflex occurs, which cause muscle that runs along the spine to begin to spasm. The time when spasms become powerful enough they can pull your spine out of alignment. Your surgeon will recommend you to take deep tissue massage which will relax these muscles and help to bring your spine back into its proper alignment but it will not treat underlying arthritis.
How to Treat Arthritis in the Spine?
Arthritis treatment in spine mainly focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint functions of your spine. So, in that case, you may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments before you determine which treatment is best for you.
A) Medications: The medications which your surgeon will give you to treat the condition of arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Following are some commonly used arthritis medications which include:
- Analgesics: These are the medications which are useful to reduce pain, but they do not have any effect on inflammation.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are useful to reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. There are various types of NSAIDs are available only prescribed by your surgeon. Oral NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation, and some may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. There are some NSAIDs are also available in the form of creams or gels, which you can easily rub on your joints to get relief from pain.
- Counterirritants: There are varieties of creams and ointments are available in the market which contains menthol or capsaicin. These are the ingredient which makes hot peppers spicy and rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): This medication I generally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs are the medications which slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints.
- Corticosteroids: The surgeons at the network hospitals under Spine Surgery India will give the cortisone shots in the form of injections which may be directly injected to the affected joint which will help to deliver medications more accurately to relieve inflammation. With the stiffness and pain that pressure on an arthritic joint can bring and for this, the water exercise therapy is often helpful.
B) Therapy: Your surgeon will recommend you the physical therapy which is helpful for some types of arthritis and it can improve your range of motion and strengthen your muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.
C) Surgery: If conservative methods are failed to provide the outcome then your surgeon will suggest surgery, such as:
- Joint repair: In some cases, it has been found that the joint surfaces can be smoothed or realigned to reduce pain and improve function. These types of procedures can often be performed arthroscopically by making small incisions over the joints.
- Joint replacement: In this procedure, the surgeons at the hospitals under Spine Surgery India will remove your damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Joints which they most commonly replaced are from hips and knees.
- Joint fusion: This is a procedure which surgeons usually used for smaller joints, such as those in the wrist, ankle, and fingers. In this procedure, your surgeon will remove the ends of the two bones in the joint and then locks those ends together until they heal into one rigid unit.
Home remedies and lifestyle treatments at the hospitals under Spine Surgery India
In many cases, arthritis symptoms can be reduced by using the home remedies and lifestyle changes and these are as follows:
- Weight loss: If your body weight is more than your BMI (Body Mass Index) then you need to reduce your weight first as losing weight will reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints. This may increase your mobility and limit future joint injury. Eating a healthy diet is important for weight loss and choosing a diet with lots of antioxidants such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs which can help to reduce inflammation. Other inflammation-reducing foods include fish and nuts. Avoid fried foods, dairy products and high intakes of meat.
- Exercise: As suggested by the doctors, that regular exercise can help to keep your joints flexible. Swimming and aerobics are the good choices because the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on weight-bearing joints. Staying active is very important, but you should also be sure to take rest when it is required and avoid overexerting yourself.
- Heat and cold pack: Heating pads or ice packs will also help relieve arthritis pain.
- Assistive devices: According to study, using of canes, walkers, raised toilet seats and other assistive devices can help you to protect your joints and improve your ability to perform your daily tasks easily.
- Acupuncture: This is a therapy where your therapist uses the fine needles which they will insert at specific points on the skin to reduce many types of pain, including that caused by some types of arthritis.
- Yoga: This is one of the best home remedies in which the slow stretching movements associated with this therapy may help to improve your joint flexibility and range of motion in people with some types of arthritis.
- Massage: This is a therapy which temporarily relieving your pain. Your therapist will perform light stroking and kneading of muscles which may increase your blood flow and you’re your affected joints. Make sure that your massage therapist knows which joints are affected by arthritis and accordingly they will give the massage on the affected area.