It 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.
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!