Understanding arthritis and how to manage it with chiropractic care
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis literally means “inflamed joint.” It happens when cartilage in a joint breaks down. Normal joints have two smooth, cartilage-covered bone surfaces that fit together and glide against one other. With arthritis, these smooth surfaces become irregular as the cartilage breaks down and they don’t fit well together anymore. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and causes pain, discomfort and stiffness.
One of the biggest misconceptions about arthritis is that many people believe that arthritis and joint pain is a normal part of aging. While our joints can degrade as we age, pain and reduced mobility are not an inevitable part of the aging process.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America and affects more than 50 million people. The truth is, there are over 100 different types of arthritis! These can vary significantly in intensity. There are two types of arthritis that can be relieved with routine chiropractic care. These are Osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disorder affecting flexible joint cartilage and Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the joints.
If you have been diagnosed with or think that you might have arthritis, you should schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. A chiropractor will help design a personalized treatment plan for you. Treating your arthritis with non-invasive, holistic chiropractic treatment can be very effective in managing and relieving your pain.
Causes of the most common types of arthritis
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is caused when the cartilage of the joint wears down, often because of the joint being injured or over used. Over a period of time in this condition the joint will deteriorate. This causes pain in the joint, as the cartilage is no longer acting as the thick cushion that it once was. Without a cushion, the bones grind together, which in turn causes an inflammatory response in the joint. Typically, the weight-bearing joints are most affected, with the knee and the hip being the most common.
Osteoarthritis is typically easy to diagnose because it is so common. It can be triggered by a sudden injury to a joint, or it can develop due to a previous injury which has caused damage to the cartilage or surrounding muscles. In both cases, there is decreased support to the joint which changes the motion of that joint.
Osteoarthritis can also be a result of overuse, repetitive motions or being overweight. These all put you at a higher risk for developing osteoarthritis due to the strain they cause on your knee and hip joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. Around 1.5 million people in the US have RA, and nearly 3 times as many women have the disease as men. In women, RA can commonly begin between ages 30 and 60, but with men, it often occurs later.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the cells that line and normally lubricate the joints. This condition can affect the whole body and may affect multiple joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition where your immune system becomes overactive and causes inflammation that attacks your joints.
Common symptoms can include joint pain, joint swelling and stiffness, fatigue, warm joints, joint deformity, and joint tenderness. Pain can get worse when you move, exercise or work. The joint may be sensitive or painful to the touch.
Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, joint pain and stiffness and decreased range of motion, typically worsening with age. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can also include: experiencing the same symptoms on both sides of the body (such as in both hands or both knees), weight loss, fatigue or weakness.
The Moss Chiropractic Approach to Treating Arthritis
Chiropractic care offers some of the safest treatments for arthritis. Since the vertebrae that make up your spine contain joints between each individual vertebrae, chiropractors are not just spine specialists but also joint specialists, which is why we are experts at helping you with your arthritis.
Once we have worked through a diagnosis and decided on the best options for you, you can begin your treatment plan immediately. Your treatment will be safe, non-invasive and non-addictive.
Chiropractic care has been shown to be effective in treating the issues and symptoms associated with arthritis. You should start to notice the benefits of your treatment plan between two and six weeks, and may even find that you no longer need to rely on medication to manage your pain.
The health benefits of chiropractic care for Arthritis
Before starting treatment, your chiropractor has to assess your arthritis carefully and assess how they can help you. If you are experiencing active swelling in your joints, it may be a bad time to have a chiropractor adjust the joint. But, even if they never touch your arthritic joint, by treating the surrounding tissues they may significantly reduce your overall pain.
Chiropractic care has been shown to relieve and even slow down the progression of arthritis. Not only can you benefit from a decrease in pain, but you can also see an improvement in your overall health and wellness.
Chiropractors mainly focus on helping people with arthritis by:
- Helping them improve their range of motion
- Improving flexibility and endurance
- Increasing muscle tone and strength
- Providing diet and nutritional advice and supplements to address inflammation (a key part of the pain and worsening of rheumatoid arthritis)
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Schedule Your First Session
At Moss Chiropractic, we help you find long-term relief through personalized treatment. Book your first session with us today to find the arthritis pain relief you need.
Monday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM