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Joint Degeneration – Elbow, Wrist & Hand

Joint Degeneration

Causes: Typically joint degeneration can occur in most people as they age. At times, degeneration can be referred to “wear and tear”. Degeneration of the joint surface, for example, can be accompanied by an overgrowth of bone, narrowing of the joint space and deformity of the joint. Osteoarthritis is a form of joint degeneration and may present in numerous joints of the body including the spine, hips and knees.

There are various factors that have been associated with joint degeneration, such as osteoarthritis, including hereditary, injury, fractures and overuse. However, certain conditions can also play a role including metabolic disorders and gout. Furthermore, obesity or being overweight has been associated with a greater risk to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.

Symptoms: The presentation of signs and symptoms can vary greatly depending on the affected joint and area of the body.  Generally symptoms may include:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Swelling and tenderness to touch
  • Joint may be warm to touch
  • Prolonged joint stiffness which may follow activity
  • Pain worsened by activity or when weight-bearing
  • Limitation of motion
  • When progressed, crepitus (e.g. creaking or cracking)

Examples: Osteoarthritis, Gout, Reactive Arthritis.

How our experts can help: Depending on the findings of the history and patient examination, the chiropractor will recommend an individualized plan of management. The treatment options may include:

  • Patient education & re-assurance
  • Mobilisation of the joint, or associated joints
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, ultrasound and others
  • Rehabilitation and exercises
  • Ergonomic & lifestyle changes
  • Refer and co-management (e.g. traumatic or dislocation)
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