Degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis, commonly occurs in our shoulders, knees, hips, spine, and ankles from normal aging and/or “wear and tear.” Degenerative joint disease often results in pain, loss of motion and flexibility. Your healthcare provider will work with you to diagnose and treat your degenerative joint disease.
Degenerative joint disease occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Degenerative joint disease is characterized by pain when moving the joint, dull aching when the joint is at rest, as well as popping, grinding, or catching sensations while the joint is in motion.
To determine whether you are suffering from degenerative joint disease or from another condition, your provider will start with a comprehensive medical review and physical exam. Diagnostic tests that include x-rays, lab results, and/or MRIs will also be reviewed.
Degenerative joint disease may be treated in many ways including non-opioid adjuvant medications, joint injections, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. Degenerative joint disease may be treated as part of a care team model involving pain psychology, pain management, orthopedic surgery and primary care specialties working together.