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Information on Degenerative Arthritis

Mar 16, 2008
One type of arthritis is degenerative arthritis. There are other types but this one sounds particularly scary. You should take the time to learn more about it. After all, it is one of the most common types or arthritis.

Cartilage and Osteoarthritis

Arthritis of this type is also called osteoarthritis. The progress of the disease has something to do with what happens to the cartilage. Our joints have cartilage in between. This is a crucial location for cartilage because it actually pads the joint. It therefore ensures that the joints do not sustain any damage due to movement. The cartilage is also what keeps us free from pain.

For some reason, the cartilage can wear down and even disappear. When this happens, movement will result in bones grinding against each other. This can result in terrible pain. The condition often develops only in a single joint and in one that bears weight. These joints are the knee, spine and hip joints. The finger joints may also be affected and are often uniquely affected altogether. It is not common for other joints to be affected but they can be.

What to Watch Out For

You would want to get yourself treated if you have degenerative arthritis. One way to find out if you might have it is to watch out for the symptoms. The symptoms may be similar to the typical symptoms of other arthritis conditions. You could suffer from pain, stiffness and difficulty of movement. One tell-tale sign is when you notice some mild bone grating when you move your joints. These symptoms can get worse through time which is why osteoarthritis is considered a degenerative disease.

Causes and Risk Factors

Researchers are still trying to find out the actual causes of osteoarthritis. There are however, some factors that could contribute to a person's chances of developing the condition. The disease may run in your family. Aging is also a possible risk factor for the disease. Aside from these uncontrollable factors, there are also controllable ones. It is generally believed that your weight and you use of your joints contribute to the progress of the disease. Overweight people, those who frequently stress their joints and those who suffer from joint injuries may develop osteoarthritis.

Treating the Condition

Osteoarthritis cannot be thoroughly treated. You will have the condition for life. This doesn't mean though that you have to live through years of pain and restricted movement. There are treatment options that can help put your symptoms in check. The kind and intensity of treatment will depend on the degree of osteoarthritis that you suffer from. Patients who are already at an advanced stage may have to be treated with a combination of strong medicines and surgery. These options though will only be considered when basic remedies have already been exhausted.

Your arthritis specialist may also recommend a number of home treatment methods. One of these is a special exercise regimen. The exercises you will be asked to perform will help you improve joint flexibility without hurting your bones. Aside from exercises, you may also have to apply compresses and use pain killers.

The thought of degenerative arthritis may get you down. It is something though that you can deal with. As long as you follow your doctor's orders, there is no need to despair.
About the Author
Tired with arthritis? See an arthritis doctor for your degenerative arthritis .
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