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Old 10-14-2006, 08:39 AM   #1
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Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I am so confused. when doing my own research it seems to me that the wearing out of the cartilage in the joints sounds to be the same thing as disk disease.
does anyone really know if the disks in the joints that act like cusions are different than the cartilage that surrounds the joint which acts as a cushion so the bone is not rubbing against bone?
In the anatomy aspect of the spine: is "degenerative joint disease" different than "degenerative Disk disease"?

is disc disease called " osteoarhritis" like joint disease is considered a form of?

I understand there are many different types of arthritis. some caused by hereditary and some named as secondary due to other conditions one can have that cause it.

answers anyone?

Linda

 
Old 10-14-2006, 03:47 PM   #2
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I would say Degen Disk Disease is OsteoArthritis. I am going thru that right now in my spine i have Scoleosis and OA is settling in block from neck down to tailbone. going to Ortho, Pphysical Thereapy is helping exercise wise for strength and stretching support but not taking away the pain. so now i have to go see a Pain Mgmt Spec. next week. i have no idea what they are able to do for me so just have to wait and see. i imagine (i am 47) that a little late in life surgery might be in order. I just know the pain can get bad and somedays there isn't any, it depends on what i do that day. can't sit very loong, can't bend alot (that's the most painful. the upper back only hurst if i carry or lift things. and i am a secretary so even sitting here on the internet after a while my neck starts hurting. i am doing alot of exercising to help with this, with PT 1 and 1/2 hours a day, without PT 45 minutes before i can even start my day by stretching my back out and trying to strengthen my other muscles in stomach knees, etc.

so sorry for the long story but i think there is some kind of difference. however, the ortho has suggested something over the counter called glucosomine with chondroitin, it helps build up cartridge and helps joints too. If you haven't already i would starting taking it. it's expensive but it has helped alot of people i know. it takes a while to get into the system so i have been on it almost 2 months. hopefully its helping.

good luck to you. write back if you find any more info. gilsgirl1985.

 
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:24 AM   #3
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I think you've stumped us! They are quite similiar and maybe for all intent and purpose they are the same. Dunno. hehehe.

 
Old 10-15-2006, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

thank you gilsgirl and justoneofus for your replies.
maybe I will take your advice and try the over the counter supplement. I often wondered if there's any real proof to supplements though.
they make them expensive because they know that a good percentage of the population suffer with this common disorder such as arthritis and that people will try anything as long as they THINK it will help them.
is it FDA approved? If it isn't, then really there's no proof that it works, which makes me a very suspicious person.
I am always the last one to try things. I have to make sure there's proof it works with others before I'll even attempt thinking about trying it myself.

I guess I want a magic pill or a magic answer. but I do see how you reacted to my question justoneofus and am glad to see It's not just me that's confused on the answer to this question.

It has me stumped too.

thanks again folks, and I wish you the best.

Linda

 
Old 10-15-2006, 09:30 AM   #5
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I am the same way as far as skeptical, but i tried the glucosamine on the orthopedic orders and i had 3 other people said it is working for them so that's why i believed it too.

i have an appt, on the 24th with pain management people. i will tell you what they are going to do for me, i am pretty curious about that too.

I will ask them what the difference is between the DDD and the DJ too for you.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 07:09 AM   #6
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

gilsgirl,
I am so thankful for you help. I'm curious too about what pain managment doctors do to help their patients. when is your appt set up for?

please don't forget to come and post what happens. when I get a job again and get medical benefits that may be one of the routes I choose too.

the arthritis really prevents me from taking certain jobs. plus the fact it makes me so darn tired. do you find yourself immensly tired alot too?
each day is different and I never know what to expect.

and I would love to have the answer to my question. you're so kind to want to help me.
thank you,
I wish you the best at your up coming appt.
please keep in touch.

sincerely,
Linda

 
Old 10-16-2006, 08:43 AM   #7
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I think (im not a doc so I wont say im positive) both diseases are the same process, just that degen disc disease refers to the process occuring in the discs in the spine....degenerative joint disease referring to joints. And I have heard them all referred to as osteoarthritis. They all cause cartilage to wear away and can also cause extra bone to grow around joints (such as bone spurs). There is another term that fits in here, which I have, called spondylosis, which is also called spinal osteoarthritis.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I will write you back. you poor thing. how are you making it thru life witout working? are you able to get any assistance from disability or try yet? well, i am on medical leave so i am able to take naps and yes i get tired. i am afraid to go back to work but husband doesn't make enough for us to live on so i hope pain management really helps me.

if you can get the glucosomine with chrondroitin i would suggest it, 3 people so far told me i seems to help them. but it is expensive. walmart or costco is the best price.

Last edited by gilsgirl1985; 10-16-2006 at 10:49 AM.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 10:46 AM   #9
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I too am a skeptic and non-pill taker period. I dont even take my pain meds as perscribed for that very reason.

BUT, after fusion surgery, I had horrible muscle cramps in my legs that would grab in the night after just dropping off to sleep (which then you get so little of) and would last for hours on end, to the point of tears. My surgery didnt hurt as bad as the cramps I was having. It was a weekend, so I was desperate and started calling around some of the pharmacists in the area to see what they thought I could try that was sold over the counter, and stumbled onto an alchemist pharmacist (cool concept, as they are chemists for patients and hand make medications to better help certain patients where normal RX dont work). He told me many things, but said.. after what I have been through and the surgery, my body was probably very deficient in calcium/magnesium. He said if I did anything, go get a good supplement. Desperate for relief, I went out and got some that same day, took the whole daily dose at one time, and that night, I got some great rest and no cramps! I was stunned to say the least. Now my gastro system didnt like that much at one time and I was in the washroom most of the next day, but it really does help with the muscles. I never would have thought it would help, but it did.

So, if someone says it works for them.. it might be worth a try to get some relief.

Pain Management doctors usually are patients FAVORITE doctors! They really are great listeners as a general rule and try not only to relieve your pain, but also try to identify the true cause of that pain and will treat you or refer you for further treatment to another specialist as needed. I love my pain management doctor! I was seeing the PM doc for a year before I found my current surgeon. (This PM doc also has a spinal decompression machine like the VAX-D, or DRX9000, and I went through that program last year. <<If you are interested, there is a sticky at the top of the forum about DRX9000>>) SO When my current surgeon wanted to do a discogram, it scared the crap out of me, and I panicked (not like me at all) and ran to the PM doc. (I ran where I felt safe and where I could get answers) He and his nurse, both took the time to sit down and explain how much the test could do for us all in determining the disc issues I had going on. And he never charged for that emergency sit down chat either! And thus, I had the discogram done and a surprise showed up on the test. The disc they thought was causing my pain was not. I have a bulging disc at l5/s1, but it was l4/l5 that was the culprit (which only showed as slightly degenerating on MRIs). I am now fused at l4/l5 back in April.

As to tiredness, YES a thousand times YES! Pain drains! And the surgery.. it really knocked the energy out of me. It's coming back very slowly.

Whew.. sorry that was so long! I hope that helps you some. Take care. Tammy

Last edited by Justoneofus; 10-16-2006 at 10:47 AM.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

I have always been told both diseases are the same, Osteoarthritis.

A Pain Management doctor's duties will vary often by doctor. A good PM will treat the patient with pain medication and offer other tools such as psychotherapy, physical therapy, perform injections, and use devices such as TEN's units.

Some PM's only do injections, often the reason they do this is not because it's the first line of defense, but sadly because it's far more profitable than prescribing pills. These types of doctors should be avoided. Too many injections can actually be bad for you.

A Pain Management doctor who only prescribes pills can be helpful but it is really important that the patient learn other methods to control pain instead of always reaching for a pill.

The goal of pain management is not 100% relief. Many doctors shoot for about 50-80% reduction in pain depending on your condition.

Most Pain Management specialist are often Anethesiologist or Nuerologists. Depending on the state that you live in the DEA may actually have a list of the type of doctors who may be Pain Management Specialist. Some require extra courses to completed while others do not at all.

When you become a pain management patient you may or may not be asked to sign a contract that indicates that you may not get any other pain medication from any other doctor for any reason. This is true of all PM's. Seeing more than one doctor to control your pain is referred to as doctor shopping and is illegal.

Lastly,the one thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between addiction and dependance. Many individuals confuse the two or believe they are the same. Just because you see a PM and take medication on a dialy basis does not mean you are addicted.
Addiction is often defined as the psychological need to medicate for the sheer purpose of getting high. Addicts will often illicit illegal measures to obtain medication and will take medication not as prescribed. In other words they abuse the medication and often run out early or see many doctors to get the same medication.

Dependance is your body's physical need to have a set amount of medication in your system at all times. Anyone can become dependant on medication be it pain medication, anti-depressants, anti-axiety pills, muscle relaxers etc. If you really think about it a person who is diabetic is dependant on their medication, this does not deem they are addicted.

A person who is dependant on medication will go through withdrawals when the medication is missed or stopped completely. Again, this is not addiction, it is dependance.

If you need further information there's a few good stickied posts on the Pain Managemement board that talks about what a PM is.

Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:57 AM   #11
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Question Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

How do they relieve your pain is my question? when i told them my OA was in 3 blocks on my back they said they would be seeing me alot. can you elaborate on the pain management part for me so i can kind of know what do expect.?? hope they are open after i get off work at 4 because i had to use all my sick time already. i am working for time and on a medical leave until the 16th of november unless she extends it again which i doubt.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 11:07 AM   #12
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

thank you kissa. i felt guilty being on these pills, my husbandmakes me feel bad about taking them but he doesn't know what kind of pain i am having, besides scoleosis, DDD and OA, had a very bad year emotionally and mentally with family sicknesses dealing with cancer with 60 year old sister and ihave elderly parents, has not been easy working full time. i was just diagnosed with OA in August, my pain was just getting worse and worse. so my next step is pain management,. thanks for the advise, but what happens if i don't like what they are doing for me or its not working for me and they make me sign that thing?

 
Old 10-16-2006, 11:27 AM   #13
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

Thank you kissa for that. i always feel like i am doing something wrong taking pills the docgtor even gives me. my husband makes me feel worse. but he has no idea what has been going thru my head. i have had alot of problems this year, dad had cancer, no okay, sister diagnosted she is still having radiation treatment, husand was out of work after 21 years with the same company but just recently got a job, so i am now on anti=dep + anti=Anx but i truly need them right now an he dosn't understand becaue he is no going thru the pain of this DDD, scoleosis and OA. i need support not criticism so I would rather talk to you all then him right now. not too happy with hijm at this moment. buty thanks for all the info.

question, what if what the pain mgmt people are nothelping me, and I sign something with them, i don't think i would like to do that. i want to go somewhere i know i am getting the correct helpl.

 
Old 10-16-2006, 11:57 AM   #14
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

Hello everyone..

Some seem to use the terms interchangeably... But after reading a bit about it, I found that DJD can refer to the osteoarthritis of the facet joints of the spine, where as DDD refers to osteoarthritis of the actual disc itself.. Both can be painful. I have DDD and DJD if my definition is accurate.. I read about glucosamine and condroitin PLUS MSM and together, along with plenty of water each day can stop the progression of these conditions, and in some cases, reverse it.. It cant hurt, and every doctor I spoke to about it told me to keep taking it, so it is promising.

God Bless,

Maurizio

 
Old 10-17-2006, 11:45 AM   #15
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Re: Degenerative JOINT disease VS degenerative DISK disease

A PM Doctor tries to get your pain under control by using several methods. The methods they use will be dependant on how they practice.

Generally speaking the two primary means are Medication and steriodal injections. If you are not happy with their methods you have the right to find a new doctor but be warned, it is very difficult to find a good PM. PM's are scarce in nearly every state. There are millions of individuals who suffer from long term chronic pain but yet only thousands of actual doctors who can help these individuals.

The contract many, but not all, make you sign is to ensure that you are not seeing them and another person for pain medication for the purpose of abusing or selling it. If you happen to go to an ER for any reason or if even your family doctor offers pain medication it is your responsibility to tell them you are a Pain Patient and who your doctor is. Most will understand and either call the doctor before giving you anything or will refer you back to them.

In the case of an emergency, such as an accident, if the ER gives you medications to get you through that day it is important that you call your PM within 24 hours and tell them what you were given and why.

The overall reason is because there are many people out there abusing medications, selling them and otherwise. It is individuals who do not suffer with pain but are addicts or sellers that have made it extremely difficult for individuals like us to get the help we need. Add to that the doctors fear of the DEA pulling their license by over prescribing.

Fortunately, there are some new laws being put in place or hopefully being put in place to protect doctors and to give us easier access to proper treatment.

When it comes to medication the philosophy is less is better. A PM may start you on a simplistic medication like Vicodin for instance if you are on nothing at all. If you are on something else they may increase it or add medications or change it entirely.

If you have pain that most likely never go away a doctor will place you on long acting medication such as Morphine, Oxycontin (many doctors refuse to prescribe this), Methadone, Fentanyl, and a few others which the names escape me.

The purpose of long acting medications is that it prevents you from clock watching. Instead of taking your medications every 4 hours you take them every 8, 12 or 24 hours. If you use a patch they are generally changed every 48 or 72 hours. This also allows for much longer lasting relief.

PM's may also use other medications such as a muscle relaxer or something for nerve pain because opiods/narcotics often do not control this type of pain so it's important that they be treated with other medications.

Depression is a big part of chronic pain and nearly every person with CP suffers from it. The problem is when it is left untreated your depression increases your pain and when your pain increases your depression does as well. Many doctors either prescribe anti-depressants or suggest you seek counseling. It is nothing to ever be ashamed of! It is important that you learn to accept and cope with your pain.

It is difficult for those who do not suffer like we do to understand what our world is like. But just because someone doesn't understand that doesn't mean you have to let it bother you. Only you know how you feel and you should never feel guilty for having to take pain medication or any other medication.

Medication is only a tool, as is therapy and other modalities like a TEN's unit etc. The rest is up to you. The main goal is to really give you some level of pain relief so you can have a semi normal life. If you're the type of person who is out playing intensive sports or have a job that require alot of physical activity don't expect a Pain Management doctor to give you medication just so you can do these things again. Part of Pain Management is accepting that your life may never be the same and making adjustments so that your pain levels are decreased with or without medication.

I have heard of individuals who go out and play strenuous sports because they are now pain free due to medications or the only reason they want relief is so that they can do such activities they did in the past. Quite honestly this is NOT the purpose of Pain Management. I think for most of us here the purpose is really so that we can get out of bed each day and function in a semi normal way, not rush out and do activities we have no business doing!

Basically to sum it up a Pain Management doctor will help you control your pain in many ways, generally with medication, and what he can't do he refers you to another specialist or works with one who can teach you additional techniques or do therapy for you. Some PM's also use Chiropractors.

A PM generally does not diagnose you nor do they operate on you but they may refer you to a surgeon. The only proceedures they do are injections such as blocks or EPI's.

If you are seeing a PM for the first time you'll probably fill out paperwork asking where your pain is, how long you've had it, have you had surgeries and what type of medications you have taken in the past, what medications have worked and what medications haven't.

Not all PM's are alike. Some may only prescribe medication, some may only do injections and offer therapy and some do a bit of everything or have a facility that staff's many types of individuals like physical therapists, psychologists etc.

When you call a PM for the first time don't be afriad to ask them right up front what type of modalities they use in their practice, most will be honest with you and tell you what they may or may not do. Some doctors take months to get in to see while others it can only take a few weeks.

After you have become a patient most PM's do require you to see them every 28-30 days for refills. Doctors can not refill a schedule II narcotic nor is it legal for a doctor to postdate a prescription (DEA Law). There is a new law that may go into effect allowing doctors to prescribe up to 90 days at a time. Laws may vary from state to state as well so you'll have to look up your own law.

Lastly on thing some, but not all PM's do is make you give a urine specimin at every visit, The reason for this is to check your levels of medication to ensure that you are actually taking the medication and not selling it or abusing it. Some doctors also may require you to come in at a random time of the month for a pill count to be sure you have not abused or sold your medication. Some PM's require you to bring in your pills at every visit for a pill count.

If you change medications during the course of your treatment the doctor may have you bring in the remainder of the current medication so it can be destroyed. Nearly all PM's do this now.

That pretty much covers what you potentially could expect from a PM.

have a great day!
Barbie
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