Arthritis of the bones and joints of the spine has many names. It is also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease (DJD), spondylosis, and degeneration. When Arthritis affects your spinal discs (intervertebral discs), it is known as degenerative disc disease (DDD). Arthritis is a debilitating disease that Dr. Espinoza has been helping residents of the Austin area for years; we are here to help you.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is mistakenly blamed on age. But, the fact is, arthritis can occur in children as well as adults. Osteoarthritis is the result of a problem that goes uncorrected over time. If it was a result of just being old, all joints in the body would be affected to the same degree. Joints are able to move in very specific ranges of motion. Life stressors like repetitive activities, prolonged bad posture, exercise/sports injuries, slips, falls, and crashes can all over-stress joints so that they no longer move in their normal, full range of motion. When this happens, the arthritic process has been shown to start in as quickly as two weeks after a joint has lost its normal full range of motion. The arthritic process is initially slow and symptom free (asymptomatic). But, when left uncorrected, the arthritic process will continue to cause ongoing damage to the joints, ongoing loss of range of motion, and can become very painful. Ongoing loss of range of motion of the spine allows for buildup of adhesions and scar tissue in and around the spine. Scar tissue formation that builds up inside the spinal canal around the spinal cord can lead to a dangerous and painful condition known as spinal stenosis. Loss of range of motion of the spine will also lead to degeneration of spinal discs. Spinal discs (Intervertebral discs) have very poor blood supply. Spinal discs are dependent upon normal motion of the spine to imbibe nutrients and hydration into them. When the spine loses its normal range of motion, the spinal discs will begin to dehydrate and degenerate. If not corrected, this process will lead to degenerative disc disease (DDD).
What can I do?
The damage done to bone, joints, and discs are not reversible. However, you can stop the arthritic process from continuing to worsen and from doing even more damage. This is why it is critical to intervene as early as possible in the arthritic process before too much damage is done. Once the arthritic process is stopped, we can work to restore as much function as possible that has been lost. You can avoid years of misery and multiple surgeries by doing something now. Call us. There is help.