Chiropractic Care for Arthritis

runners_aching_inflammed_jointsIt is been said “as the prevention of cavities is to a dentist, as is osteoarthritis to chiropractors.” Millions of people suffer from some form of arthritis. Because arthritis is commonly believed to be incurable, the standard medical response has been simply to prescribe medication to reduce the symptoms.

Substantial evidence now shows, however, that the pain and disability caused by arthritis can be alleviated and even prevented through chiropractic care for arthritis, in conjunction with dietary modifications, nutritional supplementation, stress reduction and other alternative therapies.

Common forms of the arthrits

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Among the oldest know human afflictions, it can affect virtually every part of the body, from the feet to the knees, back, shoulders and fingers. The effects of arthritis range from slight joint pain, stiffness and swelling to crippling disability. The condition can affect people of all ages, but is most common in seniors.

There are a variety of arthritic conditions, with the three most common forms of the disease being osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout.arthritis+knee

OA is a degenerative disease of the large weight-bearing joints. It is often associated with aging. People with the condition often have small bony growths, calcium spurs and occasional soft cysts on their bones and in their joints. As the disease progresses, joint cartilage deteriorates to the point where it interferes with movement.

RA, while less common than OA, is a serious and painful joint disease that can lead to crippling disability in young and old alike. RA involves damage to synovial tissue, which is the membrane that lines joints and secretes the lubricant that normally allows bones to move painlessly against other bones. Symptoms of RA include fatigue, low-grade fever, weakness, joint stiffness and vague joint pain.

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup in the body of uric acid, which is found in meats and other foods and also produced by the body. When the level of uric acid rises to unhealthy levels in the body, it crystallizes in the joint cartilage and synovial tissue and fluid, causing sharp, needle-like pain in the joints, as well as fever, chills and loss of mobility.

Chiropractic highly effective for arthritis

The primary keys for treating and preventing arthritis are proper nutrition, detoxification and stress reduction. Pain management and correction of skeletal and postural problems can be addressed through chiropractic, while other modalities, including herbal medicine, environmental medicine, acupuncture, may also help.

Chiropractic has proven highly effective for many who suffer from the disease, especially those with OA, as an estimated 95% of osteoarthritic patients also have misaligned joints. If a joint is out of position and there are abnormal stresses, OA usually occurs over time.

This is because OA is directly related to skeletal and postural difficulties. Tendons and ligaments can be torn or stretched as a result of injury, exercise or aging. The layers which hold muscles, joints and organs together tend to thicken and rigidify from overuse or abnormal biomechanics. When the body tries to compensate, bony spurs may appear in joints and on bones. Regular preventative chiropractic treatments can help to diminish these abnormal stresses and reduce symptoms or even prevent the body changes from occurring.

Like the old financial advice: “the best time to start contributing to your savings would have been years ago, but the next best time is now.”  The same holds true for chiropractic care.  Taking preventative measures is key, and that starts with a chiropractic examination to see if there are any factors which may cause you to be predisposed, whether you are already showing arthritic changes, and taking the appropriate measures to reduce the risk, and stop it from progressing now!

Start with calling our office to schedule yourself, or someone you know, in for a check up appointment. Be preventative!

~Dr. G

Players ask Chiropractor to Treat Brazilian Soccer Team

World Cup1The Brazilian soccer team has won a new advantage off the field this week. This is because of a chiropractor invited by the team doctor to treat the players in Brazil. Chiropractic is a health care approach focusing on spinal function and alignment. It can be a treatment for pain, but it should also be used to improve function and prevent injury, which is what is being done for most teams at the World Cup.

Dr. Elisa, the team chiropractor for Brazil, uses an interesting analogy to explain the importance of chiropractic care. “I often compare spinal care with dental care. You eat and brush daily, and need to get regular care for your teeth. With the spinal column is the same. You use it all the time, but some people only remember to go for care when they have pain. Indeed, it is important to have regular preventive treatment “she explains. However, the world of soccer (football) is not new to her. She has treated former  soccer player and Brazilian Captain Carlos Alberto Torres, the three-time champion, since he had disabling back pain in 2010.Torres, credits chiropractic with resolving chronic disabling back pain that had kept him relying on crutches to walk. Traditional medical treatments had not helped, and finally someone referred him to a chiropractor. The chiropractic care he received enabled him to have a quick and full recovery so he could walk again without crutches and free of pain.

Although little known in Brazil, chiropractic is widely used by soccer (football) players. Dante, who has benefited from chiropractic treatment for more than six years since he played in Belgium, was one of the players who requested the services of a chiropractor.

“It is an excellent help. You feel that your body is more balanced, with everything in place. This makes a difference when it comes to high performance,” said the soccer player.

Football does take a toll on the musculoskeletal system of soccer players. Quite often players get injured due to the quick movements they do. Running, twisting, turning, changing direction, heading the ball and diving can all result in injuries. The neck, back, knees and ankles are prone to injure due to the stress exerted in the twisting action of the body when the feet are planted and the quick change of direction of the upper body. Quite often ligaments of the knees and/ ankles are likely to injure.

As Dr. Erik Plasker, the team chiropractor for one of the top US youth soccer teams noted, “while the other teams are scrambling to change their lineups due to injuries, our team bounces back fast and brings an energetic advantage to championship games. The players and coach agree that chiropractic care helps them compete at the highest level and avoid injuries.”