Osteoarthritis of the spine is diagnosed when cartilage in your spine, which provides a cushion between your bones (vertebra) wears away over time. When you are young, the cartilage in your spine is firm, and smooth, allowing for movement without friction. As the cartilage deteriorates, bone begins to rub on bone, and the connective tissues begin to deteriorate as well. The lack of cushioned support between the bones causes inflammation, and may lead to the development of bone spurs, both of which results in back and spine pain.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE SPINE?
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Greg S. Khounganian has successfully treated men and women experiencing pain caused by osteoarthritis of the spine for years. As the result of his experience, he knows that nearly any man or woman can be affected by osteoarthritis of the spine. After all, it’s commonly referred to as a “wear and tear” disorder of the spine, caused by nothing more than aging, and a lifetime of use.
However, there are some individuals who tend to be more at risk for developing osteoarthritis of the spine. Those who have a family history of osteoarthritis may develop the condition more frequently than those who do not have a family history. Those who have previous back/spine/neck injuries are also more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the spine as you grow older. Men and women in Los Angeles whose job requires repeated stress on the spine are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Individuals with certain metabolic diseases such as diabetes may also be at greater risk. Likewise, men and women who are obese are more likely to experience the pain of osteoarthritis. Finally, age and biological sex play a role in your risk. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men, and the older you are, the greater your likelihood for developing this painful back and spine condition.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE SPINE?
Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, worsening over time. Early on, men and women in Los Angeles who have osteoarthritis of the spine may show no symptoms. However, when symptoms do arise, men and women in Los Angeles typically see Dr. Greg S. Khounganian because they are experiencing:
- Loss of Range of Motion (Loss of Flexibility)
- Numbness, Weakness, or Pain in Arms and Legs
- Pain in the Back/Spine/Neck
- Popping, Cracking, or Grating Sensations
- Stiffness in the Back/Spine/Neck
- Tenderness in the Back/Spine/Neck
HOW DO YOU TREAT OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE SPINE?
Top Los Angeles spine specialist, Dr. Greg S. Khounganian treats men and women of all ages suffering from the pain of osteoarthritis. Treatment will begin after diagnosing this degenerative disease through tests including X-rays, MRIs, and possibly blood tests to rule out the possibility of disease. Once your diagnosis of osteoarthritis is confirmed, Dr. Greg S. Khounganian will devise a customized treatment plan, specific to the area(s) in the spine which is causing pain, and the degree of the deterioration of cartilage.
Based upon your unique circumstances, initial treatment plans may include a combination of strengthening exercises, and range of motion exercises, in addition to lifestyle modifications. Lifestyle modifications can include everything from losing weight, to correcting posture, to massage, heating or icing the area, or electrical nerve stimulation. In addition, both prescription or over the counter pain medication or anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed. In other cases, injections to block nerve signals may also provide temporary relief.
For others, spine surgery may be necessary to alleviate your pain caused by osteoarthritis of the spine. Dr. Khounganian will only advise surgery after non-surgical options have been exhausted. If surgery is required to relieve your back pain, wherever possible, Dr. Khounganian will employ minimally invasive surgical techniques in order to expedite your recovery time, reduce post-surgery pain, reduce scarring, and promote a faster return to your normal activities.
If you’re suffering from back, neck, or spine pain with no obvious cause, it’s time to see a top Los Angeles spine specialist.
Contact Dr. Khounganian today for a consultation by calling 818-343-4430