If you are struggling with chronic joint pain, it may be time for you to seek medical attention. Joint pain can be extremely debilitating and painful. The swelling can make simple everyday tasks feel like a chore. When the over the counter pain relievers have finally stopped working, your joint pain may be more than a simple case of arthritis.

Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Typically medical professionals associate osteoarthritis as a side effect to aging. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) it affects more than 25 million individuals in the United States. Statistics were taken of adults over the age of 25. Osteoarthritis can be found in most joints of the human body but most commonly affect; hands, knees, hips, and spine. OA is not rheumatoid arthritis, and one will not lead to the other.

Chronic joint pain due to degenerative arthritis can be attributed to the breakdown of cartilage that covers (and cushions) the joint. The cartilage that surrounds the bone at the joints acts as a type of shock absorption. This breakdown can be due to age, or repetitive motions, or  increased friction and causes damage to the cartilage. Once the cartilage is gone, or a portion has broken down, your bone will then rub on bone which causes pain. Degenerative arthritis risk factors include obesity, a job that is repetitive in nature, and injury (or surgery) to the joint.

Seek medical attention if you are experiencing chronic joint pain with swelling, and/or tenderness. Your physician can help manage your osteoarthritis pain through diet and exercise, physical therapy, or certain types of medication. Degenerative arthritis may worsen with age. Getting a handle on your chronic joint pain early enough may dramatically increase your standard of living.