Arthritis & OA
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a very common condition seen by chiropractors. Although there are many different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common, affecting 8 million people in the UK. OA is a degenerative cartilage disease usually affecting the hands, feet, spine, and the large weight bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. It is characterised by pain, loss of mobility and often stiffness in these joints when they have been used to excess. If you have another form of arthritis it may not be appropriate to have it treated by a chiropractor. However, your chiropractor will always be able to point you in the right direction.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is often described as a ‘wear and tear’ disease, as every joint only has a certain amount of wear in it before the cartilage becomes arthritic. As such, OA is caused either by overuse or by misuse of the joint. The following things can contribute to the disease:
- Loss of strength in muscles supporting joints
- Impairment of peripheral nerves
- Sudden or uncoordinated movements
- Symmetry of movement
- Underlying health problems: Other problems can manifest as arthritis, although it is usually obvious to your chiropractor when this is the case.
If your chiropractor suspects that you have an underlying health problem causing your arthritis, you will be managed with other health professionals in order to deal with this as well.
Quite often, patients with a joint pain assume that they have some form of OA, especially if they are over the age of about 60. However, it is certainly worth seeing your chiropractor or doctor to make sure that the pain you are experiencing is OA. This will allow you to pursue the right treatment for the condition you have.
Can Chiropractic Treatments Help with Arthritis?
Chiropractic is very helpful in treating patients with arthritis, although it depends on which type you have. With OA since it is degenerative, the focus is on slowing or stopping the progression of the disease as a full reversal is impossible. The sooner you consult a chiropractor or other healthcare professional for treatment, the better your arthritis outcome is likely to be.
Are there exercises which help Arthritis?
Aside from treatment, your chiropractor may suggest a few lifestyle tips and exercises to keep the erosion of the joint to a minimum. This often means strengthening an area which is weak or stretching tight muscles which may be contributing to the compression of the joint.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Osteoarthritis can be painful and annoying, but much can be done to slow the progression of the disease to keep you from having surgery until it is absolutely necessary. Although painkillers may help by reducing pain,chiropractic care as well as advice on nutrition and exercise have been shown to be an effective way of managing the disease pre or post-surgery. Click on these links to learn more about chiropractic and hip or knee OA.
Still unsure about a visit to a Cambridge Chiropractor?
If you live near Cambridge and have pain or other symptoms, or if you want to improve the function of your body, chiropractic is a safe and very effective solution. If you are unsure whether chiropractic care is right for you, then you should consider booking either a first visit or a FREE spine check. During this time, the process of chiropractic care will be explained fully. There is no obligation to continue with the visits.