Arthritis is a condition in which inflammation and degeneration occurs in joints. This inflammation in joints, causes pain, stiffness, reduced movement and limited mobility. Since arthritis is a degenerative condition, it can slowly cause a person to become disabled.
Since the condition occurs because of breakdown of cartilage of the joints, it occurs mostly in people above the age of 50. Overweight people and those who are open to more stress on joints are at greater risk of arthritis. Other reasons which can result in spinal arthritis include genetic problem of joints, injury or trauma or any condition which results in greater than normal stress on joints of the spine.
Spinal arthritis occurs in the vertebral joints which are also known as facet joints. These joints connect the vertebrae together at each level on both sides and provide flexibility to our backs. There are no treatments which can completely reverse the effects of arthritis (stem cell injections are promising); however pain alleviating treatments are present.
Lifestyle changes: Reducing Weight
One predominant reason for cartilage breakdown is because of the extra stress placed on them. Weight is one significant reason among others which increase stress on our joints. Obesity can significantly exacerbate the pain from arthritis, so losing weight may make pain lessen.
The aim of treatment of spinal arthritis is to make sure that the normal movements of the patient do not get impaired. This is one of the reasons why physical therapy is important with strengthening exercises of muscles surrounding the joints to make them strong. Range of motion exercises are also important as they ensure that the joints are kept in motion and do not stop working.
Strengthening the muscles surrounding the arthritic joints may take pressure off of them and provide pain relief.
In some patients with spinal arthritis, the pain is easier to manage and does not require narcotics. NSAIDs and Tylenol can normally be used for pain management. For periods when the arthritis pain is exacerbated, narcotics are sometimes used for short term relief.
Injections with Las Vegas pain management doctors
There are a couple different types of effective pain injections for facet arthritis in the spine. The first are facet injections, where cortisone medication is placed directly in the arthritic, painful levels. They may be repeated every few months.
The second are medial branch blocks, which may provide months of pain relief along with telling the pain management doctor in Las Vegas which level is causing the pain. Medial branch blocks serve a dual purpose, and involve injections of numbing medicine and potentially steroid in the area around the joint. This numbs the nerves supplying sensation to the arthritic joint potentially for months at a time.
If a medial branch block works well for pain relief and then wears off, it may either be repeated for a radiofrequency neurotomy may be performed. This procedure can offer 12 to 18 months of pain relief which is incredible. It may then be repeated with the same results if the pain comes back.
For those individuals suffering from chronic back or neck pain due to arthritis, let the best Pain Management Las Vegas trusts help you. With Double Board Certified pain management doctors, Innovative Pain offers both medication management and interventional treatments with a 90% success rate.
Most insurance is accepted, call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!