Degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis is caused by the loss of articular cartilage within the joints. The articular cartilage acts as a cushion preventing wear and tear of the bones. The thick layer of cartilage protects the adjoining bones from wear and tear and absorbs shocks. Disease or injury can lead to gradual loss of cartilage causing pain and inflammation of joints. Some of the more common causes of degenerative joint disease include genetics, trauma, nutritional deficiency and mal-alignment.
There is no known cure for the disorder. Treatment programs aim to control and manage the symptoms though.
Treatments for articular degenerative joint disease vary depending on the severity of pain, age, activity level, and other medical problems. Comprehensive treatment program recommends lifestyle changes including dietary supplements and exercises. Dietary supplements include vitamin D, fibers, and proteins. The inclusion of Curcumin, fish oil and Astaxanthin in the diet relieves inflammation. Cortisone or steroids injections are prescribed for their anti-inflammatory properties and result in significant pain relief.
Swimming, walking and back exercises can help in restoring mobility, reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Physical therapy under a trained physiotherapist proves beneficial in most cases.
Medications like muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, and analgesics can help in relieving the symptoms but they cannot build back the cartilage.
Hyaluronic Acid and Platelet Rich Plasma are also recommended by some treatment programs. In extreme cases, surgery like Arthroscopy, High Tibial Osteotomy, and Knee replacement may be prescribed for degenerative joint disease.
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