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Chiropractic Helps Fight Arthritis with Motion


When arthritis shows up and people tend to slow down, someone should wave a red flag and remind them there is a lot out there now beyond the traditional approaches of resting and using drugs.

The American Chiropractic Association pins it, saying, “Don’t take arthritis lying down.”

They say clinical research shows exercise is critical in arthritis management to keep muscles strong and healthy, control weight, support flexibility and maintain movement in the joints.

Rest, on the other hand, does decrease joint inflammation, pain and fatigue. ACA recommends balancing exercise and rest. Exercise during remission periods and rest when arthritis flares up.

ACA recommends range of motion exercises like stretching and dance that can be done daily and should be done at least every other day. Strengthening exercises such as weight lifting can be done every other day unless pain and swelling are severe. Aerobic or endurance exercises, like walking, biking or swimming, can be done 20 to 30 minutes three times a week unless pain and swelling are severe. (In all cases arthritis patients need to start with advice from their doctor or chiropractor when exercising.)

See Your Chiropractor & Find Out More

The initial chiropractor’s visit includes a spinal adjustment, medical history and discussion of daily schedules. The goal of the chiropractor is to help to achieve a healthy spine and nervous system and seek pain relief and mobility without drugs or surgery.

The emphasis will be on improving muscle strength, joint mobility and flexibility, along with a better diet and weight control.

Exercises and rest periods are adjusted to the individual, as arthritis flares up and subsides. For some this might mean daily stretching and swimming. For others, short walks paired with small weights may work to help reclaim normal schedules and increase endurance.

In most cases the chiropractor will want to talk about a fresh healthy diet and maintaining normal weight to lessen the impact on the joints.

Often the chiropractor visits will evolve into a positive maintenance plan with ongoing visits. Varying approaches and ongoing assessments can help the person with arthritis maintain control and try out various ways to keep moving. Many arthritic patients have been active all of their lives and regular swimming or going out for dinner and dancing can be naturals that keep the smiles coming and the body moving. They may have to pace things a little, but it will certainly beat being cooped up at home and letting arthritis take the lead.

If you or someone in your family is experiencing the beginning of arthritis see your doctor and your chiropractor to learn the best ways to fight back and win.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jamie McCaffrey

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