What Is a Progressive Disorder?

5 Examples of Progressive Disorders

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A progressive disorder is a disease or health condition that gets worse over time, resulting in a general decline in health or function. Unlike a relapsing and remitting disorder, there are not many periods of relief from a progressive disorder. Depending on the diagnosis, your progressive disorder may move quickly or slowly.

Also Known As: progressive disease

Examples of Progressive Disorders

  • Osteoarthritis, is a degenerative joint disease causing continual joint wear and tear. Symptoms of Osteoarthritis include joint stiffness and pain. There is no cure for the condition, which often affects older adults. Osteoarthritis is often treated with weight management support, pain relief medications and in severe conditions, surgery.
  • Parkinson's Disease is a nervous system disorder that affects movement in the body. Early signs of the disease are mild and often go unnoticed. One of the noticeable symptoms of this disease is tremors in the hands. Other symptoms can include stiffness, slowing of movement, slurred speech, little facial expression and less motion in the arms when walking. Although there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, there are several medications that can slow the progression of the disease.
  • Chronic Pancreatitis is a progressive disorder that is most common in men in their 30s and 40s and can be caused by excessive alcohol use, cystic fibrosis or genetics. Symptoms of the disease include upper abdominal pain, weight loss and diarrhea. The disease is often treated with nutritional support and different types of pain management therapies.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a form of chronic neuropathic pain that is often associated with nerve injury or a lesion on the nerve. This progressive disorder, also called tic douloureux, affects the trigeminal or fifth cranial nerve in the head. Symptoms include sudden burning or stabbing facial pain that can last up to two minutes each time it's experienced. TN is treated with various medications and surgery, along with alternative therapies that include yoga and meditation.
  • Arachnoiditis is a progressive rare disease that causes inflammation in the brain, and causes a variety of neurological deficits and severe chronic neuropathic pain. Symptoms of the disease, which affects women more than men, include severe chronic pain that radiates to the lower extremities, gait abnormalities, muscle cramps, severe headaches, vision disturbances, hearing problems, dizziness and nausea.  While there is no cure for arachnoiditis, pain management medication is often prescribed. Psychotherapy is also recommended as many with the disease also suffer from depression.


    The Mayo Clinic, Mayoclinic.org, Diseases & Conditions, Parkinson's Disease

    The Arthritis Foundation, Arthritis.org, Osteoarthritis

    The National Pancreas Foundation, pancreasfoundation.org, Common Disorders of the Pancreas

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, ninds.nih.gov, Trigeminal Neuralgia Fact Sheet

    National Organization for Rare Disorders, http://rarediseases.org, Arachnoiditis

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