Degenerative Arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease once termed Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease characterized by mechanical abnormalities of the small joints of the hands, large weight bearing joints such as the knees or the small articular joints of the spine. This includes abnormalities of the surface cartilage and underlying bone. The symptoms include pain, stiffness, cracking noises called crepitus and at times swelling all of which lead to immobility. Immobility causes secondary muscular atrophy and ligament laxity. Symptoms are often helped by gentle movements but excessive or prolonged usage makes the involved joint feel worse.
Damage from mechanical stress such as misalignment and insufficient self repair is believed to be the primary cause of Degenerative Arthritis though the exact cause remains unknown. There are some studies that indicate a hereditary component but it is not confirmed. The disease is related to age but not caused by it.
Often times there is a history of a previous injury to the joint. If coupled with secondary factors such as obesity or prior surgery to the joint an acceleration of the degeneration can occur along with a subsequent increase in the intensity of the symptoms. Secondary factors also include post menopause, constant reinjury to the joint, certain metabolic diseases as well as other hormonal changes associated with systemic diseases.
Treatment would include lifestyle modifications, a full range of gentle targeted passive motion physical exercises , therapeutic modalities administered by a professional, functional gait and balance training, and gentle chiropractic manipulation to remove the mechanical stress to the joint or corresponding joint if needed.
Please contact us to schedule a consultation. We will be able to create a plan specific to your needs that helps bring healthy, natural movement back into your life.