Arthritis & how Chiropractic Care helps with Arthritis
It is important to realize there are two main types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid is an autoimmune disease which we're not going to discuss right now. We are going to focus on osteoarthritis which is the one that most people have – a degenerative and painful arthritis.
Arthritis, or osteoarthritis, is the degeneration of a joint. Any joint in the body will degenerate if it is misaligned or not moving properly. This means that any joint in your body that does not function or move properly can degenerate.
A great example I give to people all the time. If you take a knee and put it in a cast and you don't move it for a whole year, it's going to degenerate. So a joint can stay healthy as long as it is properly aligned and moving properly. So whenever you have any joint in the body, especially in the spine — you have 24 movable bones in the spine — and if these bones are misaligned and not moving properly they start to go through a degenerative process.
As chiropractors, when we help someone with their arthritis pain, we start with our examination process. Our exams include orthopaedic, neurological, and physical exam tests, as well as any necessary X-rays. When you look at the X-ray you're going to see things like degeneration of the cartilage, as well as the growth of bone spurs, which are called osteophytes. Osteophytes are bones spurs that form around the joint because it is not moving properly and the body is trying to fuse itself together. So in chiropractic when we see bones in the spine, or any bones or joints in the body, that are not moving properly our focus is to get the bones back into the right alignment and to get them to move properly. In other words we work to restore the proper range of motion and the flexibility of the joint so that it functions better.
Chiropractic Care Gives Help to those Dealing with Arthritis Pain
Over the years of helping with people who have osteoarthritis, one of the thing I've seen as we work to get their spine to move properly, is if they continue to properly maintain their spine osteoarthritis doesn't progress further. So if we have someone that comes in and has osteoarthritis as we get their spine into the normal position and we get it to move properly, the good news is the joint doesn't progressively get worse.
I have people I have been taking care of for the last 16-17 years and when we retake X-rays, sometimes 2, 3, or even 5 years down the line, the joint still looks the same as it did before. It has not degenerated further.
On the other hand, we get people who come in, they started feeling better, and they stopped coming because they felt better. When they come back 5 years later and we retake X-rays, and what we find on the X-ray is the degeneration has progressed because they haven't kept the joints in the normal position and moving properly. Remember, only 10% of your nervous system feels pain. Just because someone feels better, it does not mean they are totally corrected. Osteoarthritis is degenerative process and they need to maintain the joints. When they stopped maintaining their proper motion and function, the degeneration started up again.
Chiropractic Care is Very Effective at Alleviating Pain from Arthritis
Chiropractic is very effective at alleviating pain when someone has osteoarthritis. Secondly, and more importantly, chiropractic care is effective at maintaining the joints functioning properly so we stop the degeneration, so the spine does not degenerate anymore.
Obviously if joints degenerate then it has a negative effect on the nervous system especially around the spine. When someone has osteoarthritis around the spine and it gets progressively worse it starts to close in and around what is called the intervertebral foramen (that's the hole where the nerve comes out in-between the bones) and as you get more osteoarthritis it effects and puts pressure on the nerves. These nerves come out from the spine and control and coordinate the function of every cell, tissue, muscle, and organ in the body.
Since every system in the body is controlled by the nervous system when osteoarthritis progressively gets worse it puts pressure on the nerves and will negatively effect the overall health of the body. And that's the biggest thing to understand with the spine. Arthritis in the spine, if left alone to continue to degenerate, will end up effecting the rest of your body and its functions because of the pressure it will put on your nerves.
Obviously the spinal joints are completely different then the rest of the joints in the body —like your knees and shoulders and fingers — because nerves exit out from your spinal cord and come out in-between the bones and control and coordinate the function of every cell, tissue, muscle, every organ — everything in the body. So once again when it comes down to chiropractic it is not just about how you feel, but it is more important about how the body and the nervous system is functioning for overall health and wellness.
If you or someone you know is dealing with osteoarthritis, they should seriously consider how much chiropractic care can help them with their arthritis pain, as well as restoring function and proper movement to the joints in their body. You know if you don't seek proper chiropractic care your arthritis will get progressively worse. For anyone suffering from osteoarthritis, there is a clear choice. Continue taking pain medication and watch your body get progressively worse, or choose chiropractic care which is very effective at alleviating the pain from arthritis without drugs, as well as restoring the function and range of motion to your joints. Chiropractic care will make a difference.
Contact us today 757.467.5258 to setup an appointment and find out just how much we can help you. Please recommend this article to your friends or family who are suffering from the pain of arthritis.
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The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.
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