A Chiropractic Guide to Spinal Arthritis
By Krista Elliott
When we think of arthritis, we often think of elderly people with gnarled and aching hands. It rarely dawns on us that arthritis isn't limited solely to our hands, nor is it limited to the elderly.
As it turns out, the back and neck can also develop arthritis. This can be a common cause of back pain, and one that too many people ignore, thinking that it's just a normal part of aging. The forms of arthritis that cause back pain are called spondylarthropathies (it goes without saying that rheumatologists know all the good Scrabble words).The lower part of the back is the most common site of arthritic back pain, most likely due to the amount of weight that it bears.
Arthritis of the back usually occurs due to internal damage to the spine, usually because a breakdown of cartilage has occurred in his or her vertebral joints. The result can be pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility.
A Bigger Pain in the Neck Than Your Boss
Arthritis in the spine is no picnic, but comprehensive treatment from your rheumatologist or primary care physician, along with chiropractic care from The Joint Chiropractic, can go a long way toward helping to relieve your pain and improve your mobility.
Besides treatment, there are things that you can do to help relieve the discomfort and stiffness of spinal arthritis:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight places extra stress on the vertebrae and cartilage. Be sure to consult your doctor prior to starting any diet or exercise program.
- It may seem counter-intuitive to exercise if you're in pain. However, exercise can help strenghten the muscles in your back and legs. This will in turn help support your spine. Endorphins, which provide some natural pain relief, are also released during exercise. Swimming is an excellent option for strengthening your core while providing support for your aching joints.
- Doing yoga, or other stretching exercises, will keep your muscles and joints flexible, which makes moving around a little easier.
- Stay hydrated. Our bodies need water to function at optimal levels.
- Omega-3 fish oil supplements may decrease joint tenderness and stiffness.
- Cold and damp can make arthritis feel worse, so try applying dry heat when needed and be sure to bundle up well if the weather is damp or chilly.
With gentle and precise adjustments, the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic can help relieve pain and subluxations caused by arthritis, helping to improve your mobility and range of motion. And with over 360 nationwide locations, you're never far from relief of any of your aches and pains.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.