degenerative joint disease

When most people think of disease, diabetes, hypertension, or respiratory conditions come to mind as the top disabling conditions. The degenerative joint disease also deserves a spot in this group too and if you are wondering how to treat degenerative joint disease, there are several options to consider, including lifestyle modifications, medication, and potentially surgery to help manage the condition and improve mobility.

Do your knees hurt any time you try to move or walk? Do your fingers burn with every motion? Is the pain you feel in your limbs or your back debilitating to the point you feel like you can’t do anything?

1 in 5 elderly adults experiences problems with mobility, especially veterans. Older adults not only have to deal with weak joints due to the aging process, but they also have to deal with inflammatory conditions of one or more joints that later develop.

There are a number of conditions that affect mobility. If you would like to know what these conditions are and if you have them, keep reading.

Degenerative Joint Disease

Dealing with degenerative joint disease can be difficult, and it is more common than most people think. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop the condition. Degenerative joint disease is also referred to as osteoarthritis (OA), one of the more usual types of arthritis.

How It Affects Mobility

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joint issues and pain. Although OA can develop on any joint, most adults with degenerative joint disease notice problems with their knees, hands, hips, fingers, neck, or spine.

The condition occurs due to wear and tear of the joints over time. This wear and tear destroys cartilage and thins it out. Without cartilage, the joints no longer have lubrication or shock impact. Adults experience joint pain because the bone is now rubbing against the bone.

Joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis often happens when adults stand up from a sitting position or work their way out of bed. Osteoarthritis is different from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Dealing with osteoarthritis can be challenging, but there are many treatment options available, including medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes, to help manage the condition and reduce pain and discomfort.

Although they both result in joint pain, RA causes pain due to chronic inflammation, not mechanical wear. RA attacks the lining of the joints. This can start at any time in life. OA is more likely to happen as we age.

Other Conditions That Affect Mobility

Arthritis isn’t the only thing that can affect mobility. There are also other conditions that a person can contract and experience joint stiffness, with or without inflammation.


Gout is also another type of arthritis. People with gout often complain about extreme joint pain that starts in one joint. It is often the big toe most of the time.

This condition is a result of an accumulation of uric acid depositing itself into the joint. Joint pain, swelling, and redness can become a real problem.


Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid. The main symptoms are weight gain, slow heart rate, and constipation. However, it can result in fatigue and cause joint stiffness as well. With hypothyroidism, almost every system in the body acts sluggish and “slows down.”

Fibromyalgia and Polymyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the muscles. It is widespread and issues with fatigue and joint stiffness are common.

Polymyalgia is an inflammatory joint condition that tends to affect people over 50. They also have problems with joint pain in the wrists, hips, fingers, and shoulders.


Bursitis happens when the bursae (mini fluid-filled pockets in the joint) burst. The little sacs, which are meant to provide cushion to the joints, become inflamed. This creates pain and mobility issues for adults.


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that often affects the fingers, knees, and wrists. The symptoms often come and go and the level of intensity ranges from mild to severe.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

This is a type of condition that happens when there is a miscommunication of the nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is needed for the leg to be able to respond to movement and be able to need sensation. The syndrome damages this ability, which can affect the overall movement of the leg.

Bone Cancer

Bone cancer can also cause joint stiffness, although it is rare. However, those that do experience it, notice joint pain primarily on the long points (arms and legs).

Treating osteoarthritis Pain and Increasing Mobility

Pain and inflammation often work hand in hand for those with joint degenerative disease and other conditions that affect the joint. When you have any of these conditions, you learn to find ways of managing osteoarthritis and living with them and easing the symptoms. While you may not completely reverse the symptoms, you can ease their intensity and frequency of them.

You do not have to deal with chronic pain forever when you have joint pain. Incorporating things like exercise, massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, and physical therapy will work to your benefit.

Trying any one of these methods or a combination of them allows you to increase mobility while decreasing the sensation of pain. Along with taking medication, it may work best for some people. You should also speak with a doctor to find a physical program that works for you.

Treating Degenerative Joint Disease with Medication at Home

When you have chronic pain, it will usually come and go. Alternative therapy is a great way to address pain, but you may also want to use medication when and where it is appropriate and safe.

Most people with joint pain due to degenerative joint disease or other conditions will receive opioids to help control symptoms of pain and help increase mobility and flexibility.

You only want to use medication or get a refill when you have a prescription. It’s important to follow the frequency and guidelines your doctor suggests in order to prevent drug dependence.

If you need extra assistance making an order online for the medication you need, you can contact us.


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