What Is the Prognosis for DDD, Spinal Stenosis and Osteoarthritis?

Patients with degenerative disc disease, or DDD, can often achieve pain relief with management techniques, and the pain may lessen with age as the discs dry out, notes Mayfield Clinic. Many spinal stenosis patients lead active lifestyles, explains MedlinePlus. Osteoarthritis has a varying but generally good prognosis, states Hospital for Special Surgery.

The prognosis for osteoarthritis varies depending on factors including the affected joint, the patient's occupation and the patient's overall lifestyle, according to Hospital for Special Surgery. For example, a patient may have osteoarthritis of a thumb joint but not experience much disruption in his life if his occupation does not require extensive use of the hands. Meanwhile, the condition is much more debilitating to a patient who works a desk job and must constantly type on a computer. The prognosis for knee arthritis varies based on the number of osteoarthritic joints present, with patients who have numerous affected joints exhibiting faster disease progression.

Although many spinal stenosis patients are able to remain active, they may need to adjust the way they perform certain tasks, notes MedlinePlus. For example, most individuals with the condition find they are unable to walk for long time periods and must opt for alternative forms of exercise. Physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture or chiropractic treatments may bring some pain relief so patients can maintain active lifestyles.