A Guide To Understand Degenerative Joint Disease


Degenerative joint disease decreases mobility, drastically stiffness in your joints in the morning can be an indicator that you’re in the beginning stages of developing this painful disease. The spine, hips, and knees are joints that feel the worst in the morning, and will feel better as the day progresses. Even feeling soreness in the small joints of your fingers or base of your thumb when you are using your hands can also be the onset of degenerative joint disease. This condition is otherwise known as osteoarthritis. Preventing the disease from occurring can be done through consistent exercise and proper nutrition.

What are the Causes of Degenerative Joint Disease?

Cartilage is a cushion for your bones, when the cartilage starts to gradually deteriorates when osteoarthritis begins to occur. Friction is created by your joint rubbing against a rough surface, and once cartilage disappears, the almost frictionless movement no longer exists, which results in bone rubbing against bone.

The surface is firm and slippery when cartilage is present, but as cartilage begins disintegrating, the cartilage becomes rough. And the rougher the cartilage, the more wear and tear it puts on your joints.

There are plenty of risk factors that are able to be kept under control, so the condition doesn’t exacerbate.
The older you become increases the likelihood of contracting osteoarthritis. Women are even more susceptible to develop osteoarthritis; however, there hasn’t been a clear reason on why this happens.

Obesity creates much more stress that’s applied to the joints, shedding a few pounds if you’re overweight is crucial to decrease your chances of osteoarthritis. Fat tissue produces proteins that have the capabilities of causing radical inflammation in and around your joints. Proper dietary habits, sleep patterns, and daily exercise are great tactics to combat obesity.

Certain occupations that require a lot of physical exertion can put extreme stress on the joints, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis. If you have had joint injuries, even if they heal completely, the fact that the joint was affected in the past can increase the risks as well.

Bone deformities and genetics play a huge role. If you are consciously aware of having these issues, then ensure you are consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, and listen closely to how your body is feeling after completing intense workout sessions. Overdoing it could lead you down a path that could have easily been prevented by making simple changes in your daily regimen.

Causes of Degenerative Joint

Degenerative Joint Disease Symptoms

The early symptoms are often overlooked, because they are not associated with any extreme pain or discomfort. Temporary stiffness, usually lasting more than 15 minutes is what follows after putting the joint under constant activity.

Later on in the day there could be pain when the joint is in motion, which can be made considerably worse by weight bearing or any other form of strenuous activity. The easiest way to relieve this particular stress on the joint is through rest.

During the night the pain subsides, primarily due to rest. When the day hits it is usually better in the morning and worsens as the day progresses.

Mild joint swelling and tenderness are two main symptoms. Limitation of certain motions of the joint is normally found in the later stages if the pain and discomfort is ignored and untreated.

Joints cracking and snapping is not symptomatic of arthritis, but If there’s pain when going through this process; it’s recommended that you schedule and appointment with your local physician.

Medical history, x-rays, and physical examinations are what determine the diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

Treatments for Degenerative Joint Disease

Treatments for Degenerative Joint Disease

Treatment depends upon numerous variables includes the patient’s age, medical history, activity, and x-ray findings.

Mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis associated to weight-bearing joints (knees and hips) is treated by non-impact exercises, such as: walking. Swimming, cycling, and walking are more comfortable vehicles of exercise for patients experiencing mild forms of osteoarthritis.

A structured program of physical activity can strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments, exponentially. Nourishing cartilage that is developing bone spurs around the affected joints and preserving optimal mobility is being disciplined enough to follow a non-impact exercise regime of walking, swimming and cycling for a scheduled increment of time every day. Do what you prefer, and what works best for your body, just make sure you put in the hours.

Pain medications in the earliest stages help reduce discomfort in the joints, allowing for a more natural range of motion.

The common pain medications recommended are: aspirin, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include the usage of ibuprofen and naproxen. Consult a physician to find out what works best for you, to avoid serious side-effects you may experience from combining medications.

Holistic treatments are on the rise, and beginning to catch the attention of many people worldwide. Natural home remedies efficacies haven’t been tested or approved by medical professionals, so executing your due diligence is strongly advised when considering these practices.

Non-pharmacological treatments are elegant and easy to apply. Heat, alongside wet or dry towels can increase mobility and decrease morning stiffness in the affected joints.

Alternative treatments such as: copper bracelets, mineral springs, and snake venom have all been popularly advocated when curing osteoarthritis. The latest rave of alternative medicine is the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are two components that are the backbone of cartilage are sold in health food stores. It has been stated as a “medical miracle” in a best-selling book, and has been claimed to relieve the pain, and even as a possible cure.

Proceeding with these alternative treatments can be unsafe, and nobody is certain on how effective these treatments are; it could easily vary, depending upon the individual. Consult a physician that you trust, to see which direction you should steer towards.


Degenerative joint disease has plenty of methods to alleviate pain, and many potential cures if the individual is consistent and persistent to combat the disease. Daily non-impact exercise and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables that have anti-inflammatory properties is a beacon of excellence. Proper rest and relaxation plays a big role after putting in the work to begin the healing process.

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Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.