What is Degenerative Joint Disease?
Degenerative joint disease (DJD), otherwise called spinal osteoarthritis or arthritis of the spine, is a common condition affecting millions of Americans. Out of more than 100 types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most frequently diagnosed form, and it commonly develops in the facet joints of the spine.
Since the facet joints are responsible for bringing the vertebrae of the spine together and allowing them to hinge and bend, the inflammation of the facet joints due to a degenerative joint disease like osteoarthritis can be painful and can result in limited movement. Continue reading to learn tips on how to prevent this condition, as well as the treatments available if your condition has become severe.
Preventing Degenerative Joint Disease
Degenerative joint disease can occur when the cartilage around the facet joints wears down over time. Although the most common cause of degenerative joint disease is the natural aging process of the spine, there are some lifestyle factors that can help you avoid developing this condition. These lifestyle changes will help promote overall spinal health so you can have your best chance against degenerative joint disease.
Some of the most important preventative methods include:
- Managing weight
- Exercising to keep core muscles and joints strong
- Stretching, specific to the neck and lower back, such as yoga or Pilates
- Maintaining a well-balanced diet
- Having a good posture
- Not smoking cigarettes, which have been linked to the degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae
- Limiting the intake of alcohol, which can contribute to weight gain and increase your risk of damaged discs and joints
Treatment with BEST Health System
Oftentimes, conservative treatment can offer relief. However, you may be a candidate for surgery if preventive measures have not stopped the development of joint disease and you are experiencing pain in the neck or back. At BEST Health System, our goal is to help our patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment option.
Depending on the location and severity of your condition, different treatment may be available. Contact BEST Health System today to learn more about treatment.