Degenerative arthritis is a medical condition that is marked by low-grade inflammation that results in pain in your joints. Degenerative arthritis results from abnormal wearing of the cartilage that covers and acts like a cushion for your joints.
Degenerative arthritis is the most common kind of arthritis. Nearly 21 million people in the United States are afflicted with degenerative arthritis. About 25% of all the visits to the doctor’s office are because of this condition. Degenerative arthritis also accounts for around 50% of all non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug prescriptions.
There are two forms of degenerative arthritis. They are primary and secondary. Primary degenerative arthritis is a chronic degenerative condition that is related to aging, but it is not the result of aging. There are people well into their nineties who do not have any clinical or functional indications of degenerative arthritis. Secondary degenerative arthritis is due to other factors or diseases, but the medical results are the same as for primary degenerative arthritis.
Degenerative arthritis is also evidenced by the decrease or destruction of synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. You begin to experience pain upon weight bearing, including standing and walking, as your bone surfaces become not as well protected by cartilage. Your regional muscles may atrophy and your ligaments may become more lax because you have less movement due to the pain that you are experiencing.
Researchers believe that heredity may be a key factor in causing degenerative arthritis. This is because this condition often affects more than one member of the same family. Genetics play a role in the occurrence of degenerative arthritis, as well. There is also some evidence that allergies, whether fungal, infectious or systemically induced, may be a critical contributing factor in causing degenerative arthritis.
The hallmark sign or symptom of degenerative arthritis is chronic pain that leads to loss of mobility and possibly stiffness. The pain is usually evidenced by a burning sensation or a sharp ache in your surrounding tendons and muscles.
Degenerative arthritis can cause a crackling noise (called “crepitus”) as your affected joint is moved or touched, and you may have muscle spasm and contractions in your tendons.
At times, your joints may fill with fluid. Humid weather causes the pain to increase in many people. In theory, any joint in your body can be affected. However, degenerative arthritis usually affects your spine, hips, feet and hands.
You or a loved one may be afflicted with degenerative arthritis. Degenerative arthritis and/or complications that have been caused by it or other illnesses that you have besides this condition may have resulted in you or your loved one’s disability and inability to work.
If this is true, you may need assistance. You may need financial help.
- Alkaptonuric Ochronosis and Receiving Social Security Disability (disabilitycasereview.com)
- Tracking Your Arthritis Pain (everydayhealth.com)