The Leading Causes of Degenerative Conditions & Diseases

Degenerative conditions and diseases refer to progressive and usually permanent changes in the body that lead to a decline in overall health. This can include anything from age-related loss of memory or mobility to serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, heart disease, and more.

These conditions and diseases can often be linked to specific factors such as lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, lack of exercise), chronic stress, poor nutrition, genetics, or exposure to toxins. These can contribute to an individual’s risk level and potential degenerative condition or disease diagnosis.

Understanding the different types of degenerative conditions and diseases is important to take proactive steps to reduce your risk level. Knowing the various causes will help you make informed decisions about your health and well-being to live a longer and healthier life.

Spinal Deformities

Spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, can be some of the most common causes of degenerative conditions. Not only can it affect your posture, but it can also lead to serious physical complications. Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves abnormally, resulting in a distorted appearance. Depending on the severity of the curvature, scoliosis can range from mild and barely noticeable to severe and disabling.

The cause of scoliosis is often unknown, but poor posture habits can cause it or can be hereditary. Scoliosis is sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. It most commonly affects children between the ages of 10 and 15, but it can develop at any age from childhood through adulthood due to regular wear and tear on the spine.

In more severe cases, scoliosis can be treated through physical therapy, bracing, or surgery. While treatment does not cure scoliosis, it may help slow the progression of a curve and alleviate pain associated with spinal deformity. It is important to recognize any abnormal curvature in your spine and seek medical advice so that you can receive prompt treatment if necessary.

Metabolic Disorders

You might not know it, but certain metabolic disorders can be a factor in the development of degenerative conditions and diseases. For example, hemochromatosis is a metabolic disorder where iron builds up in the body over time. As a result, organs can become damaged, leading to serious issues.

Typically, this iron overload is caused by an inability of the body to properly use and process iron, and if it’s not caught early on, it can lead to an array of health problems like arthritis, heart failure, diabetes, and more.

Another common metabolic disorder is Wilson’s Disease—which isn’t quite as common as hemochromatosis—and occurs when your body can break down copper properly. Too much copper in the organ systems can lead to liver damage, difficulty breathing, and decreased cognitive functioning.

In both hemochromatosis and Wilson’s Disease cases, your best bet is to get diagnosed earlier rather than later for better treatment outcomes. That way, you can avoid long-term degenerative conditions that could leave you feeling under the weather for a long time.

Joint Abnormalities

Another factor that can cause degenerative diseases and conditions is joint abnormalities. These abnormalities are usually genetic and can cause excessive joint wear and tear. This increased stress on the joints can lead to faster progression of degenerative conditions.

But what exactly are joint abnormalities?

Angular Deformities

Angular deformities refer to differences in the angles of certain joints — for example when one joint is bent or twisted with respect to another in a way that isn’t normal. These deformities can be painful, leading to further problems like muscle strain and ligament tears, eventually leading to osteoarthritis or other degenerative diseases.

Malformation

Malformation occurs when the shape of a joint is abnormal. This abnormality can start at birth or develop later in life due to trauma or injury. Malformation causes different issues depending on the individual bones involved — it could result in difficulty walking and range-of-motion issues, stiffness, and pain.

But, if you have any joint abnormality, it could increase your risk of developing a degenerative condition or disease down the line — so it’s important to keep an eye out for these signs, and if you experience any symptoms, be sure to see your doctor for testing and diagnosis.

joint conditions are painful and debilitating

Obesity

You might not know this, but obesity is a leading cause of degenerative conditions and diseases. In fact, according to some studies, the prevalence of obesity in the US is around 42%. That’s an alarming statistic that shows we need to do more to reduce obesity because it can lead to a host of health issues—including many degenerative diseases.

What is it about obesity that affects our health so much?

Excess Body Fat

Excess body fat can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These conditions increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Too much fat in our bodies also means higher levels of inflammation linked to various diseases and conditions, such as cancer and dementia.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

It’s also worth noting that being overweight—even if you don’t have any other health issues—can still put you at risk for problems like osteoarthritis. This happens because when you’re overweight, your body mass index (BMI) rises above what’s considered healthy. And when this happens, it puts excess strain on the joints, which can shorten their lifespan.

So as we’ve seen, obesity plays a critical role in giving rise to many degenerative conditions and diseases, putting us at higher risk for long-term health complications if left unchecked or untreated. Keeping your BMI within the healthy range is key for preventive care and maintaining existing health issues.

Sports or Accident-Related Injuries

Did you know that sports injuries and accidents can both be leading causes of degenerative conditions and diseases? It’s true—if your neck, spine, or other joints are injured in an accident or while playing a sport, it can cause serious damage.

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries happen during physical activity and can be caused by various factors, like lack of warm-up before being active, using incorrect form when performing an exercise, or not using the right equipment for your sport. These injuries can lead to long-term problems if not adequately addressed.

Accident-Related Injuries

Injuries from accidents can be just as serious. Often caused by impact or trauma, these injuries lead to inflammation in the joints which can damage ligaments and muscles over time. It’s important to seek medical help after an injury to treat it properly before it leads to something more serious.

Recognizing that sports and accident-related injuries can cause long-term problems if not promptly addressed with the right rehabilitation methods is important. Seeking medical help immediately and following your doctor’s recommendations is key in managing any issues before they become a much bigger problem.

If You are Suffering From Degenerative Conditions and Diseases, Contact Carolina Spine and Pain Centers 

Are you suffering from any degenerative conditions or diseases? If so, it’s important to be proactive in seeking treatment. At Carolina Spine and Pain Centers, we can provide you with comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation programs tailored to your needs.

Contact us today at 864-532-4664 or online to book an appointment with one of our skilled specialists. We understand that these problems can be extremely difficult to deal with on your own – that’s why our compassionate specialists are here to help you get the care you need.