Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)

DJD is just like Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), but a joint is beginning to breakdown and weaken rather than a disc. DJD typically occurs due to significant trauma, repetitive motions, and obesity causing bone on bone situations. Patients with DJD typically complain of stiffness and pain that radiates in the back or down the leg. In mild cases, patients can live a completely normal and healthy life as long as they are regularly being managed by a health professional and taking extra precautions such as mild to moderate intensity exercise and weight management. In more severe cases, patients may need a complete hip replacement that even a chiropractor would recommend. If we think a patient needs a hip replacement, we are going to tell them that they eventually will need a hip replacement. Over 50% of individuals who have one hip replacement will also need the other hip replaced.  


Bursae are small-fluid filled sacs that reduce friction between moving parts in the body’s joints. Bursitis is when these fluid-filled sacs become inflamed due to repetitive motions. In the medical field, bursitis is typically treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and/or injections. The key to treating bursitis is to reduce the repetitive motions that may have caused the inflammation, receive regular adjustments to relax muscles, ligaments, and nerves and apply heat. Heat? I thought ice was used for inflammation. True, but bursitis is the one exception to the rule. Heat promotes blood flow to the area and studies show that applying heat to an inflamed bursa speeds up the recovery time compared to ice.  

Osteoarthritis (OA)

OA is a topic we already discussed in an earlier blog, so we will briefly re-introduce this condition. It is a degenerative disease that affects the whole joint due to wear and tear over a lifetime. Over time, the protective cartilage and fluid break down, making joint movement difficult and painful.

OA cannot be reversed, meaning the degeneration identified on an x-ray is there to stay. Although it won’t get any better, it can be managed from getting progressively worse with proper care. Most doctors will recommend anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol and regular physical activity. More severe cases of debilitating pain and minimal mobility may necessitate a bone replacement.

We highly recommend regular physical activity because it continues to keep bone strong and healthy. Instead of taking NSAIDs, take supplements such as Vitamin C, D, and calcium to help keep bones and soft tissue structures strong and stable. For more severe cases, sometimes, a replacement is necessary, and we are not afraid to admit that. We realize that we can only go so far and buy the patient some time, but eventually, the replacement will be necessary. We have said this in the first few blogs and will bring it up again. We tell all patients upon meeting them that our goal is to serve and to give them the health they want and deserve. After the first visit, we will be able to provide the answer as to whether we can do that or not. If we can help, we will be happy to serve them, but if we cannot, we will get them to someone who can.   

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is an autoimmune disorder which means the body attacks itself. The body’s immune system is dysfunctional and attacks the tissues of the body’s own joints and other organs. The immune system normally triggers inflammation that protects a person from viruses, bacteria and other invaders. In people with autoimmune diseases like RA, inflammation becomes overactive and attacks healthy tissue such as the lining of the joints, called the synovium. Persistent inflammation eventually can lead to permanent damage of joints and other organs thus creating worsening pain in the process. RA is typically managed with drugs specifically targeting RA.

What Can We Do to Help?

We want to discuss nerve interference in this section because that is what we treat with every patient who steps foot in our doors. Nerve interference is when a nerve is impinged between one or more vertebra that causes a disruption within the nervous system. Nerve interference symptoms include pain, weakness, numbness/tingling, and organ malfunction. 

Nerve interference stimulating hip pain can be caused two ways. The first cause can be the hip itself. When the hip joint begins to breakdown and degenerate the joint space begins to narrow and can cause a bone-on-bone situation. The second and more common cause is due to vertebral misalignment applying direct pressure to the affected nerve root(s). 

In either case, we are going to treat patients the same way. In more rare cases, a patient may need a hip replacement, but we will inform the patient if that is the case. Performing a neurological exam and conducting a set of x-rays in the region of complain is necessary to know exactly what is creating the nerve interference and the course of action required.

Whether that course of action includes spinal manipulation, non-surgical spinal decompression, and/or neuropathy management, we provide high-quality care and spend a significant amount of time with each patient so that we can achieve positive results.

For more information or questions about the hip joint and management, please call us at (724) 547-3377 and checkout our website at www.drlarrywilkinsspinalcare.com for more content.

Yours In Health,

Larry E. Wilkins, DC

Brian M. Steinert, DC