We provide Telehealth consultations. Call us today to schedule a virtual visit.

What Causes Joints to Wear Out?

What Causes Joints to Wear Out?

Joint pain can develop in any joint, and that includes the facet joints in your back too. Your facet joints contain cartilage, which allows your vertebrate to slide smoothly against each other. Your joints support your flexibility, twisting and turning movements, and stability. Unfortunately, your facet joints can wear out and contribute to neck and/or back pain.  

If you're dealing with neck or back pain, we encourage you to visit us here at Spine Group Beverly Hills. Dr. John Regan is an expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating back and neck pain.

But what causes joints to wear out in the first place? In this article, Dr. Regan answers that question in more detail.

Anatomy of a joint

A joint is where two of your bones meet. The ends of each bone are covered in cartilage. Cartilage supports the joint, reduces friction between the two bones, and helps support your weight. Cartilage is what stops the two bones from rubbing on each other when you move. This means that if your cartilage wears out, your bones can’t move as fluidly. Cartilage damage can lead to bone-on-bone friction and discomfort. The main signs of cartilage loss are joint stiffness, reduced range of motion, swelling, and a sensation that your joint is grinding when you move.

In other words, when your cartilage is damaged, your joint wears out.

What causes joints to wear out?

There are many things that can contribute to joint deterioration. This includes: 

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis 一 known as wear-and-tear arthritis 一 is a common degenerative condition. The degeneration worsens over time, slowly affecting the cartilage that cushions your joints. While this can happen in any joint, it’s most common in the hips, knees, and shoulders, but it can also impact your facet joints too. Signs of spinal arthritis include:

Because these symptoms can mirror the symptoms of other conditions, Dr. Regan starts with a thorough exam and accurate diagnosis before creating a treatment plan.

2. Direct joint injury

While arthritis causes your joints to wear out slowly, blunt trauma can cause sudden cartilage damage in your joints. Cartilage is a tough yet flexible tissue, and it’s designed to serve as a sort of shock absorber. However, just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it can't be damaged as a result of a sudden injury. This includes car accidents and sports injuries too.

Additionally, sports injuries can also lead to arthritis in joints, especially when the joint isn’t fully healed before you return to your normal activities. 

3. Overuse injuries

In addition to arthritis and acute injuries, overuse injuries can also continue to the deterioration of your joint. Signs of an overuse injury include:

Overuse injuries can affect many different joints, and they most often develop as a result of repetitive motions or movements.

Finding relief from joint pain

Dr. Regan uses highly advanced diagnostic technology to pinpoint the root cause of your back or neck pain. Once the cause has been determined, Dr. Regan creates a customized treatment plan which may include any of the following:

Additionally, you may benefit from lifestyle modifications to further promote healthy joints. This includes losing weight (if needed), exercising regularly, and eating joint-healthy foods like cherries, salmon, and turmeric. 

Don’t let joint pain keep you from living life on your terms. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Regan, call our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California office today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Reasons You May Need a Disc Replacement

Although back pain is common, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treating it. Disc replacement isn’t the first treatment option, but it might be the right one. Here are four reasons to consider disc replacement.

Adjusting to Life With a Scoliosis Brace

Scoliosis braces help prevent your child's spinal curve from worsening, but it requires that your child wears the brace for several hours each. Read on to explore tips for adjusting to life with a scoliosis brace.

Common Risk Factors for Scoliosis

Did you know that there are many types of scoliosis? They all have different risk factors, and in this blog, we explore the common risk factors for the three main types of scoliosis. Keep reading to learn more!

What Causes a Disc to Herniate?

If your disc herniates, or ruptures, it can cause debilitating pain. In this blog, we explore the many causes of disc herniation, how to reduce your risk of a rupture, and what you can do if your disc ruptures.