Degenerative joint disease is caused by inflammation, breakdown and a possible loss of cartilage of the joint. While doctors identified more than one hundred types of arthritis conditions, the most common of them all is osteoarthritis which usually affects the knees, hips, spine, feet and hands. The causes of osteoarthritis are many with some of the most common ones including:
1. Meniscus tears or loss of the meniscus function.
2. Mal alignment (you may be knock kneed or bowlegged).
3. Different types of physical traumas.
4. Genetics which means that if one of your family members have it, you may also develop osteoarthritis.
The reason osteoarthritis hurts
If you have the disease for a long time, then it’s possible to lose enough cartilage from the ends of your bones which may stress the bone underneath the cartilage. This in turn is going to cause pain. Many people go to the doctor when they have such pains and if your doctor mentions bone marrow edema after looking at your MRI, then you have inflammation or fluid in the bone which is stressed due to the loss of cartilage. There’s also another reason why you may feel pain in your knees and that may be due to something called synovitis.
What is synovitis? Simply put, it’s the tissue that lines the whole inside of the joint. In general, it is clear, thin and produces an optimum amount of liquid so that the joints move without friction or any sort of pain. However, when you suffer from osteoarthritis, the synovium is going to become inflamed which can cause a lot of pain. Inflammation can also cause an overproduction of liquid which leads to a swollen knee.
The way degenerative joint disease affects people
Anyone who is suffering from degenerative joint disease experiences joint stiffness and pain. In general, the disease affects the joints at the end of the thumbs, hips, knees, lower back and also the neck.
Degenerative joint disease may have the same effect on everyone, but different people are affected differently by it. For instance, while in some individuals it progresses fast, in the majority of people joint damage is going to develop over the course of a few years or more. There are also people who have osteoarthritis, but are lucky enough to have their daily life barely affected by it.
Check out the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
While degenerative joint disease affects the joints, its effects are not only physical and many people suffering from it may experience the following:
1. Feelings of helplessness.
4. Difficulty taking part in daily family and personal responsibilities and joys.
5. The inability of finding a job.
The treatment for degenerative joint disease depends on the severity of the pain the individual experiences which sadly, gets worse with age and can be even amplified by various medical problems you may have. In general, the treatment is based on the individual’s health, lifestyle and needs and most programs include ways to improve function and manage pain. With that in mind, some examples of treatment programs can involve medications, pain relief techniques, rest, weight control and exercise.