Even though chiropractic excels in wellness care, it is becoming more common for people to visit chiropractors to treat a variety of different kinds of pain. Because of this, chiropractic adjustments provide many benefits to people and patients who suffer from a wide variety of conditions like arthritis. In today’s article, we’ll explore how chiropractic can help patients who suffer from arthritis and give you additional suggestions on how to alleviate the pain that’s associated with it.
What a Chiropractor Does
A Doctor of Chiropractic, also known as a chiropractor, is a health professional that focuses primarily on wellness care instead of sickness care. Their specialty focuses on adjusting the spine to correct misalignments that may be impinging on nerves.
Regular visits to a chiropractor can not only restore health throughout the body but also help alleviate back pain and other symptoms associated with an improperly aligned spinal column. They can also work with their patients to plan exercise routines and alterations in diet to assist management of inflammation and pain. Most insurance carriers cover visits to a chiropractor on at least some level.
What Is Arthritis?
Put simply, arthritis is inflammation in the joints which result in joint pain, stiffness and limited range of movement. There are over 200 different varieties of the ailment. While it is generally associated with age, it can also affect young people. It can strike almost any area of the body, with each region having a different cause and name. In some cases, arthritis can cause damage to soft tissues and muscles, like the heart and lungs.
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It results from repeated trauma to the joint and becomes more common in the elderly.
Other common forms of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis, the second most common form in which the body’s immune system attacks the joint.
- Psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune form of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis, also a type of arthritis where the body attacks itself.
- Septic arthritis, which is caused by a viral or bacterial infection of the joint.
Diagnosing arthritis involves a complete and thorough examination. If a chiropractor feels the need to co-manage the case, a medical work-up by a rheumatologist may be recommended. This can include radiology (x-ray) or an MRI, urine and blood analysis and physical examinations.
It is important to have your condition properly diagnosed so you can more effectively treat the symptoms of the disease.
Chiropractors and Arthritis
The most common treatment for arthritis is medication, which can take down the inflammation and swelling and reduce pain. However, chiropractors can be of great help in managing arthritis. While medications work, it has long-term health risks such as impairing healing, damage to the stomach lining and internal bleeding.
By visiting a chiropractor you may be able to reduce your reliance upon these medications while managing your pain and symptoms naturally. A chiropractor can:
- Improve your range of motion by keeping your spine in line
- Improve endurance and flexibility
- Increase your strength and muscle tone
- Help you develop a dietary and nutritional plan to reduce inflammation naturally
In addition, chiropractors can recommend an exercise regimen that’s conducive to arthritis. According to OARSI (Osteoarthrits Research Society International), this is a vital component in managing your arthritis symptoms.
Treating the Symptoms
Please understand that chiropractors cannot cure your arthritis. At this time, there is no cure for this ailment. They can, however, help to alleviate the symptoms and slow the progression of the illness. They may use spinal adjustments in conjunction with other treatments to address the disease. These options can include:
- Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
- Neurological rehabilitation protocols
- Magnet therapy
The Best Results
With an inflammatory disease like arthritis, the best results are achieved from attacking it at all angles. This means working with your chiropractor and rheumatologist to combine treatments, if necessary. In addition to their care, a healthy diet and active exercise regime will help move you in the right direction toward a healthier outcome.
If you or a loved one are suffering with arthritis, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We’re here to help in any way we can!