Degenerative Joint Disease, also known as osteoarthritis, is a condition that stems from the degradation of joints, including the degradation of subchondral bone and articular cartilage. Genes, development, metabolic issues and natural wear and tear can all cause cartilage loss. Once the cartilage has diminished, bones began to rub against each other, resulting in a range of painful symptoms.
In addition to being the most common arthritic disease, osteoarthritis is also a major cause of disability in the United States.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include stiffness, tenderness, swelling, pain and a reduced range of motion of the affected joint. Symptoms may lessen during periods of rest and increase during activity. However, it is possible for sufferers to experience symptoms while at rest.
Other symptoms can affect muscles and ligaments; muscle atrophy and a general weakening of surrounding tissues can occur. Sufferers may notice that they are unable to preform simple activities such as running, walking, or even standing, without experiencing discomfort.
Sufferers may also develop other conditions and pain disorders as a result of degenerative joint disease. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spinal stenosis and sciatica symptoms are all associated with degenerative joint disease. Those with osteoarthritis of the hips, knees or spine may experience problems with posture, walking and coordination.
To combat symptoms, those suffering from osteoarthritis are encouraged to exercise and find ways to modify physical activity to decrease pain and increase mobility. Often, doctors will provide patients with analgesics in order to manage their pain. If the pain is too great, joint replacement surgery can help.
The key to finding relief from osteoarthritis pain is to get help from a professional. Make an appointment to explore options for pain management and to discuss long-term treatment options.