What is Degenerative Joint Disease?
Degenerative join disease, also known as Osteoarthritis (OA) , is when the cartilage that cushions your joints become deteriorated . Unfortunately it is a common wear and tear disease. The most commonly affected joints are the hands, knees, hips, and spine. However this can affect any joint in the body.
People over the age of 65 are affected the most by degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is a chronic long lasting condition. It can cause a lot of pain, stiffness and a few other symptoms. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Over 30 million men and women are affected by this disease.
Factors that contribute to Osteoarthritis
- Sports injuries
- Physical labor, kneeling, squatting
Osteoarthritis symptoms develop at a slow rate and worsen as time goes by. Signs and symptoms of OA include:
- Pain – You may feel pain or discomfort after moving certain joints
- Tenderness – Your joint might feel tender even when the lightest pressure is applied
- Stiffness – You may experience some stiffness, especially in the morning when you wake up
- Bone spurs – These are small bits of bone that form around the affected joint. They feel like hard lumps
- Scraping sounds – You may hear some scraping noises when you move your joints
- Loss of flexibility – restricted range in movement.
Other Risk factors
Women over the age of 55 are in higher risk of Osteoarthritis. Repetitive motions are also a factor. Infections and rheumatoid arthritis could contribute to OA as well. Additionally, Muscular dystrophy, osteoporosis, sickle cell disease, obesity, hormone and other bone disorders can result in Osteoarthritis.
When to consult a Doctor
You should see a doctor when you experience joint stiffness or pain and doesn’t seem to go away.