Arthritis- How A Chiropractor Can Help
Arthritis is a very painful condition that causes stiffness and swelling of the joints. While there are several types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type we see at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you have probably tried a wide variety of treatments. Most doctors will recommend or prescribe some form of drug therapy to help with the pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Unfortunately, with so many drug choices available, it may take many tries before you find a drug that helps with your symptoms. And along with that are the risks associated with the use of any pain killer or anti-inflammatory medication, especially on a long term basis. And since there is no ‘cure’ for osteoarthritis, who knows what these medications may be doing to the rest of your body?
The good news is that there are proven and effective natural methods of treating your symptoms. Here at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we provide safe and natural pain relief for patients who suffer from osteoarthritis.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CAUSES OF OSTEOARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that is characterized by wear and tear on the joints and cartilage. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that helps to cushion bones, and to aid the bones moving smoothly together. When cartilage wears away or breaks down, it leads to bone on bone grinding. Without the cushion and lubrication that cartilage provides, bones will rub together whenever you use the joint, which in turn causes the stiffness, swelling and pain in the joint.
The breakdown of cartilage is usually caused by some sort of repetitive action or movement, however there are other contributing factors such as the following:
Both men and women can develop osteoarthritis. In women, it is more common after menopause has occurred, while in men, it is more common to develop before the age of 45.
While osteoarthritis can develop in people of any age, most commonly it begins to occur in people between 30 and 45. Early symptoms may not be chronic. Therefore, the condition may not be diagnosed right away.
Being overweight puts an excessive amount of stress, wear and tear on the joints of the body. The joints are built to handle only a certain amount of weight before they become overworked and being to break down.
Studies show that genetics play a fairly significant role in who develops osteoarthritis. If your parents or other family members have developed the condition, there is a higher likelihood that you will also end up suffering from the condition.
Other factors that can contribute to developing osteoarthritis:
Certain other diseases or conditions may lead to or contribute to the symptoms of osteoarthritis. These include diabetes, other types of arthritis, gout or the following:
A person’s general lifestyle can play a huge role in whether or not they develop osteoarthritis. As noted above, weight is of particular significance. A person who doesn’t eat a healthy lifestyle or exercise is more likely to develop the condition.
Repetitive stress to a joint can lead to a breakdown of cartilage and other nearby structures. Most commonly, our Chiropractors see osteoarthritis in patients who participate in certain sports, such as jogging.
Osteoarthritis can occur when other structures near the joint have been injured. For example, people who have experienced a knee injury will often develop osteoarthritis later in life if the cartilage and other supporting structures of the knee do not fully recover.
WHO IS AT RISK OF OSTEOARTHRITIS?
As noted above, there are certain risk factors that are controllable, and some that are not. If you participate in a lot of sports that involve repetitive movements, your risk is higher. If you don’t eat well and have a higher that average BMI (body mass index), your risk increases. As well, if osteoarthritis runs in your family, you are more likely to develop it.
HOW IS OSTEOARTHRITIS DIAGNOSED?
While many cases of osteoarthritis can be diagnosed based on your health history, symptoms, and lifestyle, other tests can confirm the diagnoses. These include X-ray, MRI, and a special test called a Joint Aspiration, which can detect joint deterioration.
HOW IS OSTEOARTHRITIS TREATED?
There are several ways of treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Along with lifestyle changes such as weight-loss, and reducing the amount of repetitive actions placed on the affected joints, you can choose to try out different pain killing drugs, or choose a more natural approach, such as what we practice here at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage.
The Chiropractic Approach
If you’ve chosen to forgo treatment with risky drugs, and wish for a more natural approach to managing your osteoarthritis pain, our Chiropractors can help with the following:
Range of Motion
Range-of-motion exercises (flexibility exercises) assist in maintaining the functionality of the joints. These exercises involve gently bending and straightening the joints in a controlled fashion, as far as the joints can comfortably extend.
There is some crossover between flexibility exercises and range-of-motion- exercises, but rather than focusing specifically on the joints (as with range of- motion exercises) stretching exercises will target both joints and muscles.
Endurance exercises, such as aerobic exercises can assist with maintaining a healthy weight (when coupled with a healthy diet) and building muscle. Have fun with it! Endurance exercise can include swimming, dancing, cycling and more! Our chiropractors will provide a list of endurance exercises and low impact endurance activities.
Increased Muscle Strength
Having strong muscles will assist in keep weak joints stable. Stronger muscles will also help protect against further damage. Our Vancouver chiropractors can provide a list of exercises to assist with muscle building.
Through a combination of trigger-point therapy, massage, and gentle stretching exercises, we can help to ensure that your muscles are working optimally. This will reduce the amount of stress on your entire body.
HOW CAN I LOWER MY RISK OF OSTEOARTHRITIS?
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis is to stay within a healthy weight range and keep moving! While the pain of osteoarthritis can be debilitating, studies have proven that staying active can, in fact, help to keep your bones and joints healthy. So get moving, even if it hurts a little.
Maintain A Healthy Weight!
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PERIOD FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS?
While there is no ‘cure’ for osteoarthritis, with proper treatment, your symptoms can be reduced fairly quickly. At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, many of our osteoarthritis patients report a reduction in symptoms after just a few visits.
There are many treatment options available for osteoarthritis. If you are seeking a natural approach to managing the pain of osteoarthritis, the Chiropractors at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage are here to provide you with health, drug-free, effective treatments.