Tuesday, June 25, 2024

What Kind Of Doctor Treats Arthritis Of The Spine

Neurosurgeons And Orthopedic Surgeons Can Specialize In Spine Surgery

Anatomy of Spinal Arthritis Explained by Top Pain Doctor in Las Vegas, Nevada

Many years ago, neurosurgeons were primarily responsible for spine surgery, but in the past 20 to 25 years spine surgery has evolved so that both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine surgery, and for most of the typical spine operations both types of surgeons are equally well qualified.

Rheumatic Diseases And The Spine

Rheumatic diseases that affect the spine can be very difficult to live with. These include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Often starts in smaller joints of the hands and feet and later moves to the neck and/or back. May also strike organs and have systemic symptoms.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: Primarily a disease of the spine, may also impact the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Systemic symptoms including fever and fatigue are possible.
  • Axial spondylitis: Primarily affects the spine, chest, and pelvis. May also cause problems in the eyes, bowel, skin, and connective tissues.
  • Psoriatic arthritis : Pain in the lower back is common, especially in severe cases. Can affect other joints and causes psoriasis
  • Reactive arthritis: A reaction to infection. Can involve the spine but is more common in the joints of the limbs, hands, and feet.
  • Enteropathic arthritis: Mainly affects the spine but can include other joints. Associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

Interventional Pain Management Specialists Located In Dublin Oh

More than 23% of American adults are living with arthritis; thats approximately 54 million people. Unfortunately, half of those people also experience mobility issues. If you are one of those individuals, dont hesitate to seek professional medical treatment. At Spine Care Specialists, LLC, in Dublin, Ohio, interventional pain management specialists regularly diagnose and treat arthritis. If you are interested in learning more, make an appointment by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.

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Causes Of Spinal Arthritis

Spinal arthritis is typically the result of years of wear and tear that has caused deterioration of the joints and cartilage along the spine. Regrettably, we still do not know exactly why this happens. Even those who have taken good care of themselves are at risk of developing osteoarthritis of the spine.

However, there are several risk factors that may make you more susceptible to spinal arthritis:

  • Spinal trauma or injury
  • History of osteoarthritis in your family
  • Age
  • Working a job that caused repetitive stress on the back
  • Gender
  • Obesity
  • Other conditions such as diabetes, Lyme disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gout, psoriasis, or tuberculosis

Informed Choice Can Help You Choose A Trustworthy Provider

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There are as many choices as there are colors in the rainbow. There are a number of distinct physicians within the medical world that you have a choice from. Internists, family physicians, orthopaedists, neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and even some psychiatrists that treat lower back disorders. There are places that have multiple specialists who treat these disorders as a group.

There are a number of distinct physicians within the medical world that you have a choice from. Photo Source: 123RF.com.There are many types of nonmedical practitioners to choose from, and they vary greatly even within their own specialty. You can go to a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, athletic trainer, acupuncturist, Feldenkrais or Pilates practitioner, personal trainer, or even an aroma therapist.

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Learn About The Different Back Pain Specialists

When a back problem occurs, it’s typically a good idea to first consult with a primary care physician. This doctor will conduct an initial exam and, depending on the findings, he or she may refer you to a spine specialist.

If you are referred to a specialist for chronic back pain, it will likely be to one of the following:

Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis

Because both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis involve;an increasing amount of stiffness and pain in the joints over time, these conditions are often confused with one another.;However, theyre completely different conditions, with separate causes, individual symptoms and differing treatment plans.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The joint symptoms are created by immune cells attacking a patients own body, particularly the healthy tissue of the joint known as the synovial membrane. Doctors are unsure what triggers this autoimmune condition, so its difficult to pinpoint a specific cause. Some of the symptoms experienced by rheumatoid arthritis patients include:

  • Rapid onset
  • Chronic pain, swelling and stiffness in multiple joints
  • Joint symptoms that symmetrically affect both sides of the body
  • Stiffness in the morning that lasts longer than half an hour
  • Fatigue or malaise

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How Is Osteoarthritis Of The Spine Treated

In most cases, treatment of spinal osteoarthritis is geared toward relieving the symptoms of pain and increasing a person’s ability to function. The goal is to have a healthy lifestyle.

Initial treatment may include losing weight if needed and then, for everyone, maintaining a healthy weight. It may also include exercise. Besides helping with weight management, exercise can also help:

  • increase flexibility
  • improve blood flow
  • make it easier to do daily tasks

Some of the exercises associated with osteoarthritis treatment include swimming, walking, and water aerobics. Exercise may be broken down into the following categories:

  • Strengthening exercises. These exercises seek to make muscles that support the joints stronger. They work through resistance with the use of weights or rubber bands.
  • Aerobic exercises. These are exercises that make the heart and circulatory system stronger.
  • Range-of-motion exercises. These exercises increase the bodyâs flexibility.

Including rest periods in the overall treatment plan is necessary. But bed rest, splints, bracing, or traction for long periods of time is not recommended.

There are non-drug treatments available for osteoarthritis, including:

What Does An Orthopedist Do

Treating Back Pain Caused by Arthritis

Orthopedists handle the disorders, injuries, prevention, treatment, and repair of the skeletal system and its related joints, ligaments, and muscles.

Orthopedists and orthopedic surgeons are specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint disease. They use an array of testing modalities to aid in diagnosis and treatment.

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Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors

The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.

Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:

  • Excess weight/obesity

  • Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease

What Is Autoimmune Disease

An autoimmune disease involves your immune system attacking healthy tissues, cells, or substances in your body. The immune system mistakes the target for something dangerous, like a virus or bacterium, and tries to destroy it. This can lead to pain, inflammation, and a host of other symptoms that vary depending on what’s being damaged.

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Surgery For Spinal Arthritis

Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments donât sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:

  • Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion

These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.

Causes Of Spinal Spondylosis

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Spondylosis most commonly occurs as a result of the day-to-day stress and strain over time on the body. As you age, your joints and spine structures are degenerating. Spondylosis affects the lumbar spine more frequently than it affects the cervical or thoracic spine.

Conditions associated with arthritis in the spine include:

  • Herniated or bulging discs

Younger people can develop spinal osteoarthritis from:

  • Genetic defects that involve the cartilage
  • Injury to a joint in the spine

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Symptoms And Conservative Treatment

Symptoms of;osteoarthritis;of the spine include tenderness in the area of the affected spinal joints, diminished flexibility, swelling or the sensation of bone rubbing against bone. Shooting pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling of the extremities can occur if spinal nerves are compressed by enlarged joints or bone spurs. Like any condition, the type and severity of symptoms varies by patient.

If you experience neck or back pain, consult with your doctor for a diagnosis of the origin of the problem. Spinal arthritis is usually first treated with conservative therapy, with many patients not requiring surgery. Nonsurgical treatments for;spinal stenosis;and other painful conditions caused by degenerative arthritis of the spine include:

  • Exercise to increase muscle strength around the affected spinal joints
  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medicine
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic therapy

When To See A Rheumatologist

Most of the time muscle aches, pains, or injuries aren’t serious. But if your joints hurt and especially if you have signs of inflammation that don’t go away after a day or two, you may need to see a doctor.;

Symptoms of inflammation include:

  • Treats osteoarthritis and injuries to the bones and joints

  • May be a surgeon

  • Referral possible for joint or muscle pain due to injury, progressive pain aggravated by carrying weight, joint replacement surgery

  • Also treats nerve pain, scoliosis, herniated disc, osteoporosis, sciatica, whiplash

For an injury or suspected osteoarthritis, they’ll likely choose an orthopedist. If they suspect an autoimmune form of arthritis, they’ll likely choose a rheumatologist.

If you have a family history of autoimmune or rheumatic disease, be sure to tell your provider. That puts you at a higher risk of developing one yourself, which may influence their referral or treatment decisions.

Your healthcare provider may opt to treat your pain rather than refer you to someone. If your pain returns once you stop taking the medication, let your provider know and ask for a referral to a rheumatologist.

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Signs You Should See An Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Chances are youve experienced back pain at least once in your life.

According to the Global Burden of Disease, lower back pain is the worlds leading cause of disability. In a single year, half of working Americans will fall victim to the Back Pain Monster.

While it may seem like an everyday occurrence, there are times when this discomfort shouldnt be ignored.

But when does enough become enough? When is it time to visit an orthopedic spine specialist?

Read on to find out.

Bring A Family Member Or Friend To Take Notes

What are My Spinal Arthritis Treatment Options? — G. Grady McBride, M.D.

Getting to the bottom of a complicated list of symptoms is stressful and confusing. Its hard to listen to the doctor, write things down, and keep track of all your questions at the same time. Bringing a family member or friend to take notes can relieve some of that burden. It will also help provide an objective perspective on what happened in the appointment.

A calm, present friend or loved one can help document appointments and be an advocate in the moment to make sure questions are answered and you are treated humanely, says Hill. She advises bringing checking off questions on your list as your doctor answers them to make sure everything is addressed.

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How Do You Diagnose Arthritis

To diagnose arthritis, your Spine Care Specialists, LLC, provider reviews your medical history, asks you questions about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. Your doctor also carefully examines your joints for redness, swelling, and warmth.;

Additionally, your provider asks you to perform a series of light exercises to see how well you can move your joints. If these tests dont provide adequate information, your doctor might also order diagnostic X-ray or MRI imaging.;

How Is Osteoarthritis Of The Spine Diagnosed

The best way to confirm a diagnosis of osteoarthritis is by X-ray. The doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical exam to see if the person has pain, tenderness, loss of motion involving the neck or lower back, or if symptoms are suggestive, signs of nerve involvement such as weakness, reflex changes, or loss of sensation.

The doctor may order certain tests to aid in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the spine. These tests include:

  • X-rays to look for bone damage, bone spurs, and loss of cartilage or disc; however, X-rays are not able to show early damage to cartilage.
  • Blood tests to exclude other diseases
  • Magnetic resonance imaging to show possible damage to discs or narrowing of areas where spinal nerves exit

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Spondylosis: How Doctors Treat Spinal Osteoarthritis

A thorough physical examination reveals much about the patient’s health and general fitness. The physical part of the exam includes a review of the patient’s medical and family history. Often laboratory tests such as complete blood count and urinalysis are ordered.

The physical exam may include:

  • Palpation determines spinal abnormalities, areas of tenderness, and muscle spasm
  • Range of motion measures the degree to which a patient can perform movement of flexion, extension, lateral bending, and spinal rotation.
  • A neurologic evaluation assesses the patient’s symptoms, including pain, numbness, paresthesias , extremity sensation and motor function, muscle spasm, weakness, and bowel/bladder changes. Particular attention may be given to the extremities. Either a CT Scan or MRI study may be required if there is evidence of neurologic dysfunction.

Discuss questions or doubts you have about modifying your daily activities with your doctor or physical therapist. X-rays and Other TestsRadiographs may indicate loss of vertebral disc height and the presence of osteophytes, but they are not as useful as a CT scan or MRI. A CT scan may help reveal bony changes sometimes associated with spondylosis. An MRI is a sensitive imaging tool capable of revealing disc, ligament, and nerve abnormalities.

Discography seeks to reproduce the patient’s symptoms to identify the anatomical source of pain. Facet blocks work in a similar manner. Both are considered controversial.

You Do Not Walk This Road Alone

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Many people suffer from facet arthritis. 1 in 5 people suffers from various forms of arthritis.

Due to the high number of arthritis sufferers, there are peer-to-peer support groups available. There are also support groups run by the Arthritis Foundation and other non-profit agencies.

The support groups offer emotional support, activities aimed at helping those with any form of arthritis, and some offer financial assistance.

They are there for you so please reach out when you need those who understand the disease best.

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How Neck Arthritis Is Diagnosed

Your doctor will start by taking a history and doing a physical exam. Theyll check the range of motion in your neck and test your strength, sensation, and reflexes to find out if there is pressure on your nerves or spinal cord. Theyll ask when your symptoms started, when the pain happens, and what makes the pain better and worse.

Your doctor may order an X-ray to assess alignment and look for arthritic changes, says Dr. Shah. If there is a concern of compression of spinal nerves or the spinal cord, you may need an MRI to look at the neutral structure and discs, says Dr. Shah.

A CT scan may be ordered to look at the bone more closely, especially to see if any bony outgrowths are causing compression. However, X-rays and MRIs are the tests that are usually ordered, says Dr. Shah. A CT scan with a myelogram may be used if an MRI cant be done.

An electromyography, or EMG, may be ordered to assess for nerve compression, says Dr. Shah. An EMG tests the electrical conduction of the nerves in the arms. This test would be helpful if you have multiple nerves being compressed or compression of nerves at the neck and in the arm, he says.

Your doctor may order blood tests to see if you have any antibodies or systemic inflammation that would reveal inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.

Be Able To Describe Your Back Pain Hip Pain Or Other Symptoms In As Much Detail As Possible

One thing your doctor will want to gauge is whether your back pain is inflammatory or mechanical. Theyll do this by asking you questions about what times of day your pain is worse ; whether your pain feels better or worse when you move around ; whether your back pain ever wakes you up at night ; and how long your pain lasts .

Make sure you point out everywhere on your body youre experiencing pain. AS doesnt just strike the back and hips. People with AS often describe something called alternating buttock pain, pain in their heels, and pain in their rib cage, for example. It can also affect your knees, neck, and other joints.

Be honest and forthcoming about your daily life and symptoms, says Hill. Dont show up to appointments looking better than you feel; the last person you want to hide your symptoms from is the very person who is supposed to help treat you.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis

The most common symptoms of arthritis affect your joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, you might experience:

  • Suffering a previous joint injury
  • Being overweight
  • Being middle-aged or older

Your gender also plays a role. For example, women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to suffer from gout. Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid in your joints.;

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