Elderly people often suffer from osteoarthritis diseases, of which degenerative joint disease is the most common. The degenerative joint is the aging process of cartilage and the surrounding joints. This disease is closely related to age, which means that the higher the age, the more severe the degenerative lesion will be. The disease affects health as well as the quality of life of the elderly, the elderly not only have difficulty in movement and walking but also suffer pain when the weather changes. Furthermore, when a degenerative joint is not detected early for treatment, it is easy to lead to deformed joints, limiting movement, sometimes stiffening joints.
1. Causes of Degenerative joint
- Due to age: the disease usually appears late in the elderly (from 60 years of age, nearly 80% of people over 75 years of age) because the older the age, the stronger the phenomenon of aging of organs, including joints.
- Due to endocrine and body metabolism (menopause, diabetes): when the body hormone changes, it reduces the amount of hormone in the body causing bone and joint diseases.
- Due to injuries: injuries to the knee that affect the cartilage heads, tendons, and fluid around the knee, causing changes in the axis of the joint. Some common situations such as falling, traffic accident, labor accident
- Obesity or weight gain too fast: This will increase the pressure on the bones and joints, gradually making the bones and joints compressed, deformed.
- Nutrition: Vitamin D deficiency also contributes to the risk of Degenerative joint. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps in the absorption of calcium in the body and is therefore essential for strong bones.
- Due to other inflammatory lesions in the joints such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis …
2. Manifestations when you have Degenerative joint
- Pain: This is the first symptom of Degenerative joint. The articular cartilage damage makes it difficult for the bones to move, which can cause uncomfortable pain when moving. In the longer term as the disease progresses, this condition even occurs even without moving. Especially when the seasons change or the weather changes.
- Stiffness: When joint deterioration, the joint cartilage layer and joint fluid are severely damaged, unable to perform the lubrication function, so the operation of the bones will not be as flexible and easy as before. In the elderly, this phenomenon often happens, especially in the morning when the patient wakes up or after sitting inactive for a long time. The seriously ill will usually take about 30 minutes to massage, exercise can continue to work again.
- Sound when movement: When the joint degenerates, the cartilage head and the tendons around the joints are deformed and the two ends of the bone close together, even touching each other, causing sounds.
- Difficulty when moving: Osteoarthritis causes many of the nerves to be pinched, combined with the inability of joints to function flexibly, which is also a major obstacle that directly affects the motor’s ability to move. In the elderly, knee degeneration makes it difficult for people to walk, even unable to walk.
- Joint deformity: When joints no longer retain their original function, joint deformation gradually develops, joint swelling even causes joint dislocation.
3. Control and prevent joint degeneration
Because Degenerative joint stemming from conventional aging may not always prevent the disease. However, we can apply the following measures to limit as well as reduce the early course of the disease :
- To prevent the Degenerative joint, the elderly should have a reasonable living regime (eating, drinking, walking, exercising …). There should be a gentle activity and activity regime such as playing sports, walking, swimming … limiting heavy loads, doing excessive movements. In addition, you should regularly change your position, avoid sitting for a long time, keep the correct posture, avoid working in the wrong posture leading to dislocations, change the structure of the joints and limit dangerous sports to avoid injury.
- You need to ensure an adequate supply of important micronutrients for joints such as vitamins and minerals (protein, calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins …). In addition, you can use drugs to prevent and treat Degenerative joint effectively such as glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate …
- In middle age, you should have a healthy lifestyle, avoid stimulants, alcohol, … cause premature joint cartilage aging.
- Control your blood sugar level because too high a sugar level will affect the structure of articular cartilage
- Weight control: Being overweight can put pressure on joints, making the progression of joint diseases faster.
- Periodic health exams to measure health status and detect disease promptly.
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