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Chiropractic Care for Arthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis Treatment Near Me

Imagine the aches, groans, and pains of arthritis - the irritating stiffness and pain often felt in the joints and muscles during movement. With 21.3% of adults diagnosed with arthritis, inflamed joints, and arthritic joint pain relief are often difficult to manage, causing neck, back and extremity pain for people of all ages. However, chiropractic care is an effective way to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this condition. Chiropractic care is a safe and natural approach to dealing with arthritis.

Who is Affected By Arthritis?

According to the CDC, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It is estimated that 58 million adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. People who are older or overweight are more likely to be affected by this condition than others. Women also tend to develop arthritis at a higher rate than men, especially after menopause when estrogen levels are declining. One in three patients reported that their diagnosis was due to their work or lifestyle, such as sitting for long periods or engaging in strenuous activity.

Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

There are many signs and symptoms of arthritis that you should be aware of:

Depending on the type of arthritis present - osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis - the symptoms may differ

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two distinct types of arthritis with different causes and symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joints, leading to inflammation, pain, and potential joint damage. In contrast, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by wear and tear on the joints over time.

Causes of Osteoarthritis Explained

Aging Process

Osteoarthritis is the most common type, typically affecting older adults due to joint wear and tear over time. It's caused by the breakdown of cartilage that is supposed to cushion the bones and is often seen in the hands, hips, knees, and spine.As individuals age, the aging process can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. With age, the body's ability to repair damaged cartilage diminishes. This makes older adults more susceptible to joint degeneration and osteoarthritis.


Joint Wear and Tear

Joint wear and tear over time is a primary cause of osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in joints gradually deteriorates. As a result, bones start rubbing against each other, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness.


Obesity Impact

Obesity, inactivity, and joint injuries can also increase the risk of developing this type of arthritis due to the calcification of the ligamentous structures of the joints. These changes can manifest in different ways, including pain and swelling in the affected joints and decreased range of movement. Obesity significantly impacts the development of osteoarthritis. Excess weight puts added stress on weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips, accelerating the breakdown of cartilage. This increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis at a younger age.


Joint Injuries

Previous joint injuries, such as fractures or ligament tears, can predispose individuals to osteoarthritis later in life. These injuries disrupt the normal alignment of joints and can lead to accelerated wear and tear on the affected joint surfaces. Osteoarthritis typically presents in the hands, hips, and knees and is often seen in the spine. While NSAIDs and corticosteroids can be used to manage pain and swelling, they come with side effects that can be uncomfortable.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

Less common than osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells. It is a chronic condition marked by inflammation of the joints and is often seen in younger adults and women more than men. It is also characterized by inflammation caused by the body attacking healthy cells, leading to joint pain, fatigue, and swelling. Furthermore, rheumatoid arthritis is not hereditary and is more common in smokers than non-smokers. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and hips. If left untreated, it can develop into joint deformities. Immunosuppressants, steroids, and biologics are often prescribed, but they can also have long-term side effects.


Environmental Triggers

Various environmental factors, such as smoking, infections, and hormonal changes, can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in genetically susceptible individuals. Exposure to cigarette smoke has been strongly linked to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking cessation can help reduce this risk.


Immune System Dysfunction

In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system malfunctions and attacks the synovium, the lining of joints. This leads to chronic inflammation and joint damage. The immune system's response causes swelling, pain, stiffness, and eventually deformity in affected joints.


Hormonal Influence

Hormonal changes, particularly fluctuations in estrogen levels in women, have been associated with an increased susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. During pregnancy or menopause, when estrogen levels fluctuate, some women may experience changes in their arthritis symptoms.

Pain Mechanisms in Arthritis

Inflammation Impact

In arthritis, inflammation plays a critical role in causing pain and swelling in the joints. The immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissues, leading to inflammation. The body's response to this inflammation includes releasing chemicals that irritate nerves, resulting in pain signals being sent to the brain. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage joint structures.


Cartilage Deterioration

Arthritis often involves the deterioration of cartilage, the smooth covering that protects the ends of bones in a joint. As cartilage wears away, bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness. This process leads to discomfort and limits mobility and flexibility in affected joints. Without the protective cushioning of cartilage, movements become painful and challenging.


Nerve Sensitization

Nerves around arthritic joints can become sensitized, amplifying pain sensations even with mild movements. This phenomenon, known as peripheral sensitization, contributes to heightened pain perception in arthritis patients. Sensitized nerves react more intensely to stimuli, making everyday activities like walking or bending excruciating for individuals with arthritis. Managing nerve sensitization is crucial for effective pain relief strategies.

What to Expect From a Chiropractor

Chiropractors are trained to manipulate various joints in the body to alleviate pain, decrease inflammation, and enhance functionality. They commonly adjust not just the spinal joints but also those in wrists, ankles, knees, shoulders, and elbows. These adjustments are particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from joint discomfort, or mobility issues. By realigning these joints, chiropractic care can significantly improve an individual’s range of movement and overall physical health.

Vertebral and extremity subluxations are the culprit behind a lot of joint pain. Subluxations can trigger a painful and disruptive inflammatory response to the body's functioning. A chiropractor is trained to diagnose subluxations, and by correcting them with specifically applied adjustments, pain is relieved, inflammation is reduced, and mobility is improved. Managing arthritis is no easy task, but with the help of a chiropractor, you can find relief from the pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Chiropractic care is an effective way to reduce symptoms and improve overall health.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to chiropractic care, lifestyle changes can further support arthritis management. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and following a nutritious diet are crucial for managing arthritis symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Chiropractic adjustments extend beyond the well-known spinal alignments to include treatment of various joints such as the wrists, ankles, knees, shoulders, and elbows. These targeted manipulations aim to alleviate pain in the affected joints. Not only does this reduce discomfort, but it also diminishes inflammation associated with conditions like rheumatoid and osteo arthritis. Moreover, by restoring proper alignment and enhancing joint function, chiropractic care can significantly improve a patient's overall mobility and range of motion. This holistic approach aids in maintaining joint health and improving an individual’s quality of life.

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