Degenerative joint disease (DJD), otherwise called spinal osteoarthritis, is a common condition affecting millions of Americans. Out of more than 100 types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most frequently diagnosed form. Degenerative joint disease can occur in virtually any joint of the body. In the spinal column, it occurs when articular cartilage of the spinal facet joints breaks down, allowing the raw articular surfaces of the facet joints to rub together.
Factors exacerbating degenerative joint disease are difficult to define and vary with each individual. However, it is well-known that aging is a major factor in its development. Joint cartilage will lose water and weaken over time, therefore weakening this tissue. Total degenerative joint disease prevention is impossible. People exhibit signs of wear-and-tear within spinal facet joints at an older age. However, some steps can be taken by young and old people alike to delay spinal deterioration.
What can help prevent degenerative joint disease?
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight puts added stress on the weight-bearing areas of the body, including the spine.
- Exercise to keep core muscles and joints strong.
- Perform exercises and stretching specific to the lower back and neck, such as yoga.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet.
- Maintain the correct posture when standing and sitting.
- Do not smoke cigarettes and limit the intake of alcohol. Smoking has been linked to the degeneration of the cartilaginous discs that lie between the vertebrae. Alcohol dehydrates, can contribute to weight gain and can negatively interact with many physiologic processes.
Laser Spine Institute
If preventative measures have failed and you are experiencing pain from degenerative joint disease in the back or neck, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures have successfully helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck and back pain.