Degenerative Arthritis - Oh My Aching Knees (or back, or hips)
If you have degenerative arthritis, your doctor may call it by any of these names:
Some of these terms, like spondylosis, are specific to areas of your body; in this case, the spine. Others, like osteoarthritis are descriptive names for the disease process.
In any case, your joints are wearing out and you're probably in pain. To read about
early symptoms of arthritis, click here.
Active for much of your lifeInvolved in a serious injury Overweight for a while
If you're over the age of 60 you've probably been told it's just a normal part of the aging process and there's nothing you can do. If you're younger than 60, there's a good chance you've been
Common places to get degenerative osteoarthritis
If you have degenerative arthritis of the spine (aka degenerative disc disease) and it progresses to where you have difficulty walking or numbness in your arms or legs you may have spinal stenosis.
Click here to read what spinal stenosis is.
This is a picture of degeneration in the low back, or lumbar spine. Imagine this person is standing in front of you facing to your right.
Degeneration of the neck
is very common these days, since we all sit at computers with our heads forward and our shoulders rolled in.
Regardless of WHY you have it, most people just want to know "what can I do?"
There are 5 vertebrae in the low back, and discs separate them. You can see that in this patient, they have degenerative disc disease issues at nearly every level. As these discs continue to dry out or "dessicate" they will get thinner and thinner until eventually the bones of the vertebrae will start to rub together. At that point the degenerative arthritis is severe and this person will be in a lot of pain.
Degeneration in the knee is seen in the image on the right. The joint space between the bones is gone and the bones are actually rubbing together.
If you think you have
arthritis in your feet, read more about it here.
Are you starting to see the common theme with degenerative osteoarthritis? The cushion-y materials that separate your bones from each other (either cartilage or discs) wear down completely and allow your bones to rub together.
It gets worse. And better. Hang tight, we'll get there.
The bad news is this... with the bones rubbing together and the loss of your cartilage comes inflammation. Red, hot, tender joints, swelling, and stiffness when you try to move. If you have it in your spine, hips or knees, walking will become increasingly painful.
The good news is that it takes YEARS for it to reach that level and there are a lot of things you can do to slow the degenerative arthritis down.
Natural Treatment Options
The very first thing you can do to take control of the progression of your degenerative osteoarthritis is to get yourself on an eating program that decreases inflammation.
There are foods that help arthritis
eating them is ideal because they are often naturally anti-inflammatory, don't cause blood sugar spikes, and help you lose body fat while maintaining muscle. If you're overweight and have
arthritis in the spine,
arthritis in the hip,
arthritis in the knee,
this is the single MOST important thing you can do to help yourself. It will drop the pressure on your joints AND give your body the chance to get the inflammation that's hurting you under control.
If you'd like to try low glycemic eating free for one week, fill out this form and you'll receive a series of emails over the next week with shopping lists and recipes to help you get started.
Another thing you can do to relieve the pain of degenerative arthritis is start yourself on a gentle
especially if you've never exercised. If you've been exercising, stretching will help lengthen your muscles, and keep them from pulling on your joints.
To learn about
alternative treatment options for arthritis, click here
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