How Chiropractic Can Help with Osteoarthritis
By Debra Rodzinak
As we age, the wear and tear on the spongy cartilage of our spine can begin to become thinner. Since the cartilage is necessary to keep the bones of the spine from rubbing together, the loss of cartilage can be very troublesome for spinal health. Chiropractic treatment can help relieve the pressure of spinal vertebra that rub together due to loss of cartilage.
When the spinal vertebrae continually rub together, small irregular growths called bone spurs usually form on the joints of the spine. Bone spurs are nature’s way of trying to stabilize the spine due to loss of the cartridge. This instability can cause patients to experience pain in their back. The lower back is the most common area where the cartilage of the spinal vertebra is lost.
The overall loss of cartilage in the joints of the body is known as osteoarthritis. When located in the spine, osteoarthritis can be divided into two groups: The lumbar spine and the cervical spine.
The lumbar spine is the lower back area. When osteoarthritis, also called lumbosacral arthritis, is located in this area, pain and stiffness in the lower spine is present. The joint that is located between the spine and pelvis, called the sacroiliac joint, can loosen the cartilage that protects it from the surrounding bones. This will cause intense pain in the lower back.
Located in the neck area, the cervical spine can develop pain and stiffness from the loss of cartilage in the upper spine, head, neck, arms, and shoulders. Osteoarthritis in the upper neck region is called cervical spondylosis.
There are a number of reasons why some people are particularly disposed to osteoarthritis. However, as with nearly all abnormal conditions affecting the body, it is likely that a combination of risk factors work together to cause osteoarthritis.
There are several risk factors associated with spinal arthritis such as:
- Age – Years of repetitive movement, often work-related, can provide a steady deterioration of the spine
- Gender – More common in males under 45, the gender hit flips after age 45 to post-menopausal women
- Weight – Excess weight causes stress on the spine and joints that bear weight
- Genetics – Family genes or congenital defects can present in the spine and joints
- Associated Diseases – Other diseases, infections, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout can intensify spinal arthritis
If you suffer from osteoarthritis and want to find relief from the pain, drop by The Joint for a gentle, drug-free adjustment. Don’t live with the pain associated with spinal arthritis. Let one of our doctors work with you to develop a plan of attack against this disease!