Non-operative Spinal Osteoarthritis (Spondylosis) Treatments
Although spondylosis is categorized as a degenerative condition, this does not mean that patients will eventually be wheelchair-bound. This is rarely the end result. While symptoms of spondylosis may last for a matter of several months or become severe, doctors who have prescribed conservative treatment for their patients have experienced a success rate of 75 percent. In fact, most patients can find relief from pain and other symptoms without surgery.
Some conservative treatments include:
The affected area may be braced to limit motion and relieve nerve irritation. This will also provide much needed rest and help promote relaxation.
Non-narcotic pain relievers such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) may be prescribed to alleviate pain and help reduce swelling.
Hot and cold therapy, a cervical traction device, or an exercise program may be prescribed to help relieve symptoms. Exercises may include neck and shoulder stretching, neck strengthening, and aerobic exercises. Gentle massages along with heat treatments and electrical stimulation may be introduced into the overall treatment plan to help control muscle spasms and pain. Exercise will greatly help the patient increase flexibility, build strength, and increase the range of motion.
It may be advisable for patients to consider a marked change in their occupational activity if their type of work directly affects their condition. Of course, cessation of smoking and weight loss must be considered as well.