Typically for all-day relief, a long-lasting NSAID like Naproxen or Celecoxib is required as opposed to an NSAID like Ibuprofen that will last only about 4-6 hours.
For more severe pain, narcotics and opioids are used. Although they are more effective than other pain medications, narcotics are considered controversial because of their potential for addiction and side effects.
Whatever medication your doctor decides is best for you, it is best to keep open communication about any side effects or concerns you may have about them. One must also be certain to follow the recommended dosage of medication strictly, as to avoid any harmful side effects the medication may cause.
There are many alternative therapies that some people find helpful to alleviate the arthritis in their spine. These include:
- Heat and cold therapy
- Chiropractic manipulation
- TENS Unit
Heat and cold therapy are great because they are cheap and readily available to be used. TENS units, which relieves pain by electrically suppressing pain signals, have also been reported as being fairly effective.
The great thing about alternative therapies is that they don’t have the associated side effects that most medications have.
Most cases of arthritis can be helped without surgery. However, depending on the type of arthritis in the spine and if all other modalities fail, surgery can be an option.
For facet-joint arthritis, there is a non-invasive procedure available called a radiofrequency ablation, that’s goal is to simply turn-off the nerve emitting the pain signals from the arthritic joint. Fusions and laminectomies are also surgeries that are offered in extreme cases.
However, back surgery is known for not being a sure-fire solution and can change the normal biomechanics of the spine. New surgeries are being developed, such as facet-joint replacements, offering promise to an area of medicine that could use improvement.
Arthritis of the spine can be debilitating, but some of these treatments can help to alleviate the pain and make living with the condition manageable.