Arthritis is a common disorder, especially among aging adults. The term arthritis covers a range of conditions that affect the joints. The most common reference is osteoarthritis, aka as degenerative joint disease.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is particularly prevalent in older adults as a result of wear and tear on the joints. The cartilage between the bones of each joint becomes dry and deteriorates, eventually leaving bone rubbing on bone. When this happens, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed, resulting in pain and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systematic autoimmune disease which causes deterioration of cartilage and joint inflammation similar to osteoarthritis but usually causes more intense pain. Other forms of arthritic disorders include psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, and gout.
Besides the effects on joints, the other common factor shared by various types of arthritis is that they cannot be cured. However, good chiropractic care can help manage the symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening using a natural approach.
There are risks associated with pain medication and arthritis sufferers often rely on it. Drugs may provide temporary relief but they should be used with caution since they can have dangerous side effects, particularly with long-term use.
Acetaminophen is a common over-the-counter analgesic and is often thought of as one of the safest drugs for pain. However, research does link its use to an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), asthma, and various intestinal problems. Acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of acute liver failure and regular alcohol consumption increases this risk.
NSAIDs are non-steriod, anti-inflammatory drugs and are another common over-the-counter pain reliever. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Many NSAIDs irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing complications ranging from nausea and stomach upset to peptic ulcers. Studies also link these drugs to a heightened risk of heart attacks.
Opiods are another pain reliever for severe pain associated with arthritis. These are stronger and are available by prescription from a medical provider. Opoids commonly cause constipation, nausea and drowsiness and are highly addictive.
Rather than depending on drugs, chiropractors assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care can reduce discomfort and slow the progression of arthritis.
When assessing a chiropractic patient, our doctors look for areas of interference in the spine called vertebral subluxations. These subluxations are misalignments of the spinal bones, also know as vertebrae. These are quite common and can trigger a range of symptoms, including musculoskeletal pain. Using gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments, our doctors correct these vertebral subluxations, relieving pain and often improving range of motion of the affected areas.
The therapeutic power of chiropractic care for arthritis patients has strong backing through clinical trials. One of these studies randomly assigned 250 osteoarthritis patients to receive moist heat therapy either alone or in addition to 20 sessions of chiropractic care over several weeks. The group under chiropractic care experienced faster and more pronounced pain reduction as well as improvement in range of motion and ease in daily living.
Our doctors advise patients regarding other lifestyle changes to support optimal health, including nutrition, exercise, and ergonomics. These components of well-being can have a positive impact on arthritis symptoms, directly lessening discomfort or strengthening overall health and the ability to cope with arthritis.