Degenerative joint disease is a type of arthritis that attacks the body’s cartilage. It is a progressive disease that is believed to be the primary cause of joint pain in adults. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the joints, trouble moving, inflammation and trouble sleeping. (1) Degenerative joint disease causes include a lack of healthy cartilage, along with certain risk factors. Natural degenerative joint disease treatments focus on reducing pain and inflammation and helping patients stay active.
Degenerative Joint Disease Causes and Risk Factors
- Being over 65 years old
- Being a woman
- Experiencing joint injuries
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a job or hobby that puts stress on the joints
- Having certain genetic defects that affect the development of joint cartilage and collagen
- Osteoarthritis that runs in the family
Degenerative Joint Disease Treatments
1. Stay Active
Degenerative joint disease causes include being overweight or obese. Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower inflammation, increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles. Regular exercise also boosts circulation to keep joints and bones strong and limber. Walking, swimming and water aerobics are some of the most beneficial degenerative joint disease treatments. (2) Other beneficial exercises include:
- Strengthening exercises aimed at improving strength in the muscles that support the affected joints, such as knee strengthening exercises
- Aerobic activities to improve blood pressure and circulation while reducing inflammation
- Range-of-motion activities to keep joints flexible
2. Eat a Nutritious Diet
A poor diet can destroy collagen and lead to inflammation. Degenerative joint disease treatments include eating a nutritious diet fill of whole foods to help the body hold onto cartilage. Limit refined vegetable oils, dairy products, refined carbohydrates and trans fats to help reduce inflammation. (3) A degenerative joint disease diet should include:
- Fresh vegetables
- Whole fruits
- Herbs, spices and tea such as turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano and thyme
- Probiotic foods such as kombucha, kefir and cultured veggies
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess body weight can put a strain on delicate joints, which is why being overweight or obese are considered degenerative joint disease causes. (4) Maintaining a healthy body weight through a nutritious diet and exercise can lower your risk of developing degenerative joint disease and keep inflammation at bay.
When you skimp on sleep, your body isn’t able to properly repair itself. Your joints and muscles need downtime and relaxation to reduce stress and repair damaged tissues. Make it a priority to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. With a proper amount of sleep, your body will be better prepared to regular hormone levels, reduce stress and relieve joint pain.
5. Reduce Pain Naturally
Natural remedies can work as degenerative joint disease treatments to help relieve joint pain. Try:
- Acupuncture – Studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective way to reduce back and neck pain, muscle aches, joint stiffness and osteoarthritis. (5)
- Massage Therapy – Massage therapy works to improve circulation and bring blood to sensitive areas. It can also help lower tension and stress levels.
- Reflexology – Reflexology is used to help stimulate the nervous sytem and help the body handle stress, pain and fatigue.
Infrared sauna – Hot and cold treatments can help loosen tight joints and muscles while reducing pain and swelling. Infrared sauna treatments have been shown to lower both pain and stress levels. (6)