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Home » Spine Conditions » Degenerative Joint Disease » What is the difference between degenerative joint disease and arthritis?

What is the difference between degenerative joint disease and arthritis?

Perhaps you’ve heard your physician mention degenerative joint disease as the cause of your joint pain, whether referring to the joints within your spine or any other joints in your body. You may have never heard this term before, but more than likely, you’re familiar with this condition. Degenerative joint disease is another name for osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that develops as the components of the joint wear down. Whether your physician calls it degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, OA, or just arthritis, all of these are different names for the same thing.

How did I get degenerative joint disease?

The word “degenerative” refers to the deterioration that occurs as part of the natural aging process, as our joints endure a lot of wear and tear over the years. This form of arthritis cannot be avoided entirely. However, there are certain activities that can accelerate the deterioration of the spinal joints. This includes:

  • Frequent heavy lifting
  • Jobs that involve a lot of repetitive motions
  • High-impact sports, like football and rugby
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Previous joint injuries

Following a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and avoiding activities that put excessive strain on your joints can help you maintain a healthy spine and slow the development of degenerative joint disease.

What are my treatment options for degenerative joint disease?

If you’re experiencing neck or back pain as a result of osteoarthritis, there are a number of conservative treatment options that may help minimize your symptoms. Your physician will likely recommend a combination of treatments, such as hot and cold compresses, pain medications, physical therapy, low-impact exercises and rest in limited quantities. In many cases, patients are able to find a combination of options that works for them and allows them to return to their daily routines.

How can USA Spine Care help?

If the joints of the spine continue to deteriorate, conservative treatments may not be an effective option any more. In these cases, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. We specialize in minimally invasive spinal surgery to treat degenerative joint disease and many other spinal conditions. Our outpatient procedures require less than a 1-inch incision and often have shorter recovery times compared with traditional open spine surgery.

Contact USA Spine Care today for more information on the minimally invasive spine procedures we offer.

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