Degenerative joint disease, also known as arthritis, affects an estimated 47 million Americans across all age and racial groups. Though certain types of degenerative joint disease tend to afflict more mature patients, it is not restricted to the elderly — anyone of any age can be affected. It’s important for everyone to understand what degenerative joint disease is, what the risks are, and what treatments are available.
What is Degenerative Joint Disease?
Degenerative joint disease is a term used to describe one or more of over 100 chronic diseases that affect joints, muscles, and connective tissues. The most common type of degenerative joint disease is osteoarthritis, though other types include rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Symptoms may include pain and stiffness in the joints, difficulty moving the affected area(s), swelling in the joints, redness around the affected area(s), decreased range of motion in the affected area(s), tenderness or warmth in the affected area(s).
Risks & Treatments
Degenerative joint disease can be caused by a variety of factors including age, genetics, obesity, a physical trauma (such as from an injury or accident), and certain medical conditions (such as diabetes). Treatment plans vary on a case-by-case basis depending on factors such as severity and cause. Common treatments may include lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly or losing weight; medications such as ibuprofen; physical therapy; dietary changes; supplements; injections; surgery; or a combination of these options.
It’s important that people with degenerative joint disease take steps to limit their risk factors wherever possible. This might mean regular exercise (particularly exercises designed specifically for strengthening the joints); healthy eating habits that focus on reducing inflammation; avoiding activities that strain or overexert your joints; maintaining an ideal body weight; wearing supportive shoes when possible; using assistive devices such as canes when necessary; elevating your legs when possible; avoiding smoking/tobacco products/secondhand smoke exposure; managing stress levels with relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.
No one should have to live with degenerative joint disease without relief — but understanding how it works and how best to treat it can be challenging. To learn more about this condition and how Rochester Medical Group can help you manage it effectively through treatment plans tailored to your needs, reach out today for information about our services! With our team’s professional expertise and personalized patient care approach, we’ll work together towards finding relief from pain associated with this condition so you can live life more fully again soon.