Posts Tagged ‘degenerative joint disease’

Benefits Of Chiropractic On Arthritis

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

“Can chiropractic help arthritis?” Although most medical doctors will say arthritis can not be reverse, studies have shown that it can. There are two different conditions known as “arthritis”. By definition, “arthritis” is inflammation of the joints. First, there’s osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis. This includes DJD or Degenerative Disc Disease. Then, there’s several variations of rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis or “wear and tear arthritis” is just that, a sort of wearing away of the joint. It usually shows up as we age or after years of excessive use or wear on a joint. DJD or osteoarthritis in the spine, is usually caused by several bones in the spine that are out of alignment. When your car is out of alignment, these parts will wear out quicker than the rest of the car. Your spine is no different. If you have misalignments in your spine, the discs and bones surrounding that joint will develop arthritis faster than other areas of your body. On x-ray, this reaction looks like little bone spurs. The body reacts this way in an attempt to stabilize your spine. Over time, this process will cause fusion. Usually, the problem is not noticed until the disc is about gone and the spurs (or osteophytes) start to press on nerves, causing pain.

The typical medical approach to dealing with this type of arthritis is self-medication with over-the-counter painkillers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Tylenol, Advil, etc. If not resolved, you can end up on steroids or prescription painkillers that can lead to addiction. The eventual medical solution is surgery, sometimes very risky surgery with long-term consequences.

The other kind of arthritis, called rheumatoid arthritis, is an inflammatory autoimmune condition that causes pain, swelling and disfiguration, usually seen in the hands. As with most autoimmune conditions, the cause is unknown. Yet, treatments start with over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, then prescription painkillers, then immunosuppressant drugs. That just means that the drug you’re taking actually retards your immune system. The mandatory warnings on these drugs warn you of infection, disease and even death. Since we don’t know the cause, should we be treating the effect with potentially lethal drugs?

Chiropractic can help patients with arthritis in two ways:  biomechanically and neurologically. If you do, indeed, have spinal misalignments (subluxations) that can cause the discs to wear down more quickly, we help correct those misalignments with gentle, specific adjustments. As your body stays in its proper alignment, pressure is taken off the nerves and your nervous system. When that happens, your symptoms tend to clear up. If you maintain that proper alignment of the spine, there will be less nerve pressure therefore less likely for your symptoms to come back.  Biomechanically, chiropractic can increase your mobility and flexibility because of a proper aligned spine.  Neurologically , chiropractic help take stress off your nervous system, therefore allowing your body to rest, relax, and heal naturally.