Early Signs of Joint Degeneration

Early Signs of Joint Degeneration

ExecutiveChronicles.com | Early Signs of Joint Degeneration | Joint pain is pretty prevalent. In a survey conducted by the CDC, 30 percent of adults reported having some joint pain in the last 30 days. Knee pain was the most frequent complaint, followed by pain in the shoulder, finger, and hip.

When experiencing joint pain, people often worry about one thing. Is this pain normal, or is it a sign of joint degeneration?

Painful joints can develop due to an illness or injury. But sometimes, arthritis is the cause of the pain. Among the different forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease is the most common.

What are the things to look for if you suspect that you have this disease? Please keep on reading to learn more about the signs of osteoarthritis.

  1. Pain Is One of the Early Signs of Arthritis

Joint pain is the most recognizable symptom of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is the second most common type of arthritis. But, please take note that the pain is different between the two.

In OA, the joint hurts more with activity and as the day progresses but is relieved by resting. On the other hand, the pain of RA is felt more at rest and doesn’t get worse with use.

Another difference is that the pain in osteoarthritis tends to be asymmetrical. For example, if one knee is hurting, the other is usually not affected. By contrast, the pain in RA affects both joints symmetrically, especially in advanced cases.

  1. Stiffness Is Another Common Sign of Joint Degeneration

Stiffness in the affected joint is most noticeable in the morning or after a period of inactivity. This symptom is also referred to as the “gel phenomenon.” The synovial fluid is similar to motor oil that’s been sitting for prolonged periods in cold weather.

Loss of range of motion can accompany joint stiffness. You may be able to regain the range of motion as the joint “warms up” with use. But as the disease progresses, it gets harder and harder to recover the lost flexibility.

  1. Swelling and Tenderness

The joint may swell because of the build-up of excess fluid. If it’s the knee, the swelling can get worse on walking.

When you press down on the joint, it will feel tender. The joint may also feel warm to the touch if the swelling is moderate to severe.

  1. Grinding Sounds

Do you hear grinding, creaking, crunching, or clicking sounds when you move the joint? The sounds you hear are what’s known in medical terminology as “crepitus.” Crepitus is one of the signs of advanced joint degeneration.

Why does the joint produce that sound? It’s similar to a squeaky door, where the sound is created when there’s rubbing of wood on wood. In this case, it’s the bone that rubs against bone because there’s not enough cartilage to serve as a cushion.

Recognize These Signs Early

Joint pain isn’t one to be ignored, especially if it comes with other signs of joint degeneration. Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Early management can be the difference between a life of comfort or disability.

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