The word “arthritis” gets thrown around a lot, but most people have no idea what it is or what causes it.
There are two major subcategories of arthritis, and each one develops differently.
Osteoarthritis, or what we might call “wear and tear” is much more common and affects millions of Americans. The more use a joint gets, the more potential it has to break down over time. As we are moving throughout the day, the spine (and other joints in the body) will often become misaligned. The joint is now off-track and the movement at the joint is not perfect anymore. The longer this flawed motion pattern persists, the more inflammation will be produced. In the spine this is especially serious as the spinal nerves are in close proximity to the joint spaces and thus can also become inflamed. With an inflamed nerve, you open up pandora’s box and can now experience dozens of symptoms and pain patterns, as nerves control the rest of the body’s tissues.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is an autoimmune issue that tricks the body into attacking its own joint tissues. Inflammation is also the result of this disease, however it is brought about through processes that are chemical in nature, rather than mechanical (like with osteoarthritis). Chiropractic can help balance the nerve system, which correlates and coordinates all chemical processes in the body. A balanced nerve system equals a more balanced body chemistry!
Phases of Arthritis
The amount of joint breakdown is graded using phases. Many patients think they are okay and still in phase 1 or 2, only to have an x-ray analysis reveal the shocking truth that they are in fact in much worse shape than they thought. Especially with osteoarthritis, the process can be stealthy and will chip away at the joints, little by little, until the patient is left with next to nothing as far as the padding between the bones is concerned. Many patients must get to this point before they feel significant pain and thus, take action. When we base our health on how we feel, the result is dealing with more catastrophes in the future. When we base our health on what is universally true (i.e. all machines break down over time unless maintained) and choose to KEEP the body at a high level of well-being, we are assuring not only longevity of the body, but continued quality of life as well.
What to do?
Do not be the person who says, “this runs in my family” or “I’ll just deal with it like everyone else does.” That is a losing mentality. There is an easy solution to mitigate joint inflammation and damage over time: GET ADJUSTED! The chiropractor’s goal is to keep all joints well-aligned and mobile throughout a person’s entire life. When that is the case, the breakdown that would otherwise ensue is minimized and the arthritic process can be arrested. Additionally, the better a joint moves, the more joint fluid will be produced to keep the joint lubricated. A more stiff spine is lacking this natural lubricant and suffers greatly.
Regular chiropractic adjustments are the best way to ensure that arthritis will not get the best of you in the future. For more insight and FREE health tips, please visit our patient education section at: