Degenerative Arthritis Is Persistently Painful

By Raymond Smith

Our bodies are composed mostly of water and also of bones that are jointed together to allow for movement. Where the bones join a smooth layer of cartilage covers the joint surface allowing the bones to move against each other. When this layer of cartilage wears away the joints grate against each other, causing pain. This is the condition of degenerative arthritis.

Arthritis can be experienced by young people but most victims are older. They were often active in their youth and well into life. Wear and tear is often the result of repetitive actions such as typing or driving. This has worn the cartilage away in particular joints that have been well used. Although exercise is usually good, too much repetition of precisely the same movement can be deleterious. That is why gymnasts, rugby players and people who have enjoyed great agility in youth may end up sore and stiff.

Degeneration is a natural but sad aspect of the aging process in man and beast. Old dogs become stiff and so do old human beings. Degeneration may be part of a process that prepares creatures for death. The joints most likely to degenerate are those that are not so much exercises as used, and used often. The degeneration is seldom imagined are faked. It appears gradually and contortions become progressively worse.

It is unlikely that this condition is brought on by psychological factors but it can have psychological consequences. A woman whose sylph like body attracted men like bees to a honeypot may have to adapt to being apparently invisible as she grows stiff and begins to move painfully.

It is difficult to cure arthritis because cartilage will not easily regenerate, as will bones and skin. Analgesics can be used to alleviate pain but if cartilage is worn away and not replaced the grinding of the bones will continue and the pain will return when the pain killers wear off. It appears that cartilage does not contain the blood vessels that promote healing and may even contain other substances that prevent healing.

The challenges presented by arthritic problems stimulate research into the problems that are becoming more prevalent as populations age. In the first instances people turn to pain killers but these can obviously offer only temporary relief. Some people resort to surgery but such solutions will obviously be expensive and intrusive, with possible side effects.

In some cases drastic treatments can result in side effects that are problematic in themselves. For that reason doctors might recommend lifestyle changes and mild antidotes rather than going along intrusive routes. Weight loss can be useful in some cases. Obesity as a contributing factor can be countered through diet and weight loss programs. These methods might work when patients have problems in the knees, feet and hips.

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