Why Chiropractic Make Sense if You Have Osteoarthritis
By Dr. Molly Casey
Are your daily activities limited by pain and stiffness or maybe some swelling? If you’ve experienced these symptoms regularly, it’s likely the thought of arthritis has crossed your mind. There are numerous forms of arthritis and related diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state more than one-third of adults who have arthritis report that it limits their leisure activities and work. Understanding the type of arthritis and what it means to you and your daily life can feel overwhelming. Osteoarthritis, according to the CDC is the most common types of arthritis. What causes it and can chiropractic help in care for or prevention of this?
Osteoarthritis affects more than 30 million adults in the United States. It’s also known as degenerative joint disease or ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. While it commonly occurs in the hands, hips, and knees, it also occurs in the spine. Symptoms are pain and/or aching, stiffness, decreased range of motion as well as swelling. Symptoms experienced vary between patients and with the degree of severity.
A joint is where 2 bones meet, there is cartilage at the end of each bone, fluid and tissue enclosed in a capsule. In osteoarthritis the cartilage and contents of the capsule are damaged and break down. Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are commonly present, as well.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
The degeneration of joints occur as a result of the wear and tear of gravitational stress over time and related joint dysfunction. The joint is often misaligned or not moving through its full range of motion; yet, because this dysfunction is not initially felt, the workload or demand on the joint remains the same. As a result, the cartilage wears down, the fluid decreases and spurring ensues. The spurring occurs because the bone reabsorption and production rate becomes uneven and the body is trying to stabilize more fully through lying down additional bone in areas it is not intended. The joint motion becomes more restricted and the problem worsens.
Can Chiropractic Help Those with Osteoarthritis?
Can chiropractic help? The short answer is yes. But, how?
Chiropractic adjustments directly address the misalignments or restricted range of motion in the spine. Extremity manipulations directly address the misalignments or restricted range of motion in joints found in arms and legs. The adjustments and manipulations performed by a chiropractor literally restore the range of motion to the joint. The degree to which restoration of joint motion is possible is dependent upon the severity and length of time the misalignment or restriction has been present.
Can Osteoarthritis be Prevented?
Osteoarthritis occurs because of improper joint function and demand. Although some natural degeneration due to gravitational stress and aging can be expected, it can be minimized if one maintains proper joint motion through regular chiropractic adjustments. Such preventive care should help prevent the rapid occurrence of this type of arthritis. The most important effect of the chiropractic adjustment is the nervous system’s ability to function without interference; this occurs through restoring and maintaining the health and function of the joint. In my professional opinion, it’s safe to say that chiropractic can help slow the process or possibly even prevent the occurrence of osteoarthritis early in life.
Although some natural degeneration due to gravitational stress and aging can be expected, it can be minimized if one maintains proper joint motion through regular chiropractic adjustments.
Why does this matter to you? Remember, more than 30 million adults in the United States deal with osteoarthritis; if you don’t have it yourself, it’s likely you know someone who does. Let the doctors of chiropractic at The Joint Chiropractic help you help yourself and the ones you love stay free from osteoarthritis.
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