Spinal osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain, inflammation, and limited movement in the affected joints. Although it can affect any joint in the body, it is most common in the knees, hips, and spine. As a person ages, osteoarthritis becomes a major health problem. This problem affects millions of people around the world.
Spinal osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joints begins to wear away and is gradually lost. The cartilage is a soft and elastic connective tissue that acts as a shock absorber between the intervertebral discs. When this cartilage wears away, the bones can rub against each other, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness to the joint. It is most often developed in people over the age of 50, and women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men. Being overweight puts additional stress on load-bearing joints, increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
It can also occur due to previous injuries to the joint and increase the chances of osteoarthritis in the spine. It can run in families, which means that some people are at higher risk of developing the disease due to their genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis include joint pain, stiffness, and reduced movement. The pain may be mild at first and become more severe over time. The stiffness may be worse in the morning or after long periods of inactivity. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can range from mild to severe, and can affect a person’s quality of life, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as you suspect that the discomfort has increased rather than decreased. You can prevent the injury from being more difficult to disappear, don’t wait until it becomes intolerable pain.
The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is based on a combination of symptoms, physical examination, laboratory and imaging studies. Dr. López Serna is spinal neurosurgeon and may perform a physical exam to evaluate the affected joints for range of motion and severity of inflammation. X-rays can also confirm cartilage wear and pinpoint joint deterioration. Other studies may also be requested, such as an MRI, blood tests, etc.
Osteoarthritis treatment focuses on relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and improving joint function. There are several treatment options available. Medications can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. Physical therapy can help to improve muscle strength and flexibility, reduce pain, and improve joint function. Exercise can be indicated on a more regular basis; such as walking or swimming, and it will help to improve mobility and reduce pain.
In more severe cases, corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joints and, if necessary, spinal surgery will be used. Which would be indicated in severe cases of osteoarthritis to repair or replace using prostheses in damaged joints. There are several steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis. These measures include:
Maintain a healthy weight, Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins which can help reduce inflammation in the body and prevent joint damage, Exercise regularly to strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of injury by improving mobility.
Spinal osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. This disease can be painful and limiting, but there are many treatment options available to relieve pain and improve quality of life. Preventive measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise, can also help reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the future. It is important that people experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis contact their doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.