As many people age, they believe that the pain and discomfort associated with our joints is a normal occurrence that we are forced to live with. While our joints can experience levels of degradation as we age, the pain and reduced mobility that is often associated with arthritis don’t have to be something that we suffer through. Instead, it is worth reviewing some of the facts around chiropractic care and your arthritis.
Many people believe that chiropractors simply focus on the spine and back and don’t do any work beyond that. It is true; chiropractors tend to work the most on issues that are associated with the spine. This typically relates to most of their patients' issues though. However, if you think of chiropractors as only working on the spine, you are likely to miss a lot of the additional benefits of chiropractic care.
Chiropractors specialize in issues that surround our joints. Our spinal columns are comprised of all our vertebrae. Each of these vertebrae has joints between each other. If you think of chiropractors as joint specialists, their ability to help with your arthritis becomes more apparent.
Arthritis typically occurs when something irritates the joints. This can be a deterioration of the joint itself. As joints deteriorate, they may become irritated more frequently. These changes can be associated with increased movement, regular movement, or changes in temperature. As our joints experience these changes, the irritation can cause inflammation and pain.
This chronic pain and inflammation are what we refer to as arthritis. Many patients take prescription or over the counter medications to manage the effects of arthritis. Medications will only treat those effects though and don’t get at the root cause of your discomfort.
Chiropractors will likely want to conduct an initial exam. In this exam, they will review your medical and family histories and conduct a physical exam. You should expect that they will issue a diagnosis and design a treatment option that is best suited for you.
Typically, patients who are experiencing issues related to arthritis can expect their chiropractor to suggest gentle manipulation of those joints over the course of several weeks. You should start to notice the benefits of your treatment plan between two and six weeks.
Patients also may not require the use of additional medications to manage their pain during their treatment. Chiropractic care has been effective at treating the issues and symptoms associated with arthritis.
This can eliminate the need for pain medications, especially those that contain opioids. Medicines that contain opioids have become a significant concern for medical professionals and the public due to their addictive and damaging properties.
If you are experiencing active swelling in your joints, it may be a bad time to have a chiropractor adjust the joint. If you are unsure if you are a good candidate you can visit with your chiropractor to get their advice.
However, even if you cannot receive a physical adjustment due to swelling, it’s likely that your chiropractor will be able to suggest and conduct other therapies to grant you some relief. Some of these therapies that can be performed in their office include:
Ultrasound – While ultrasounds are typically thought of as an imaging tool, they can also produce gentle massage to the offending joints. This massage can decrease swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joint.
Electrotherapy – These gentle electric pulses are designed to stimulate nerves and muscles near the painful joint to reduce pain and swelling.
Infrared sauna – These rooms are specifically designed and heated to a temperature that provides adequate therapy for relaxing the joints. The warming of the joints allows for a reduction in swelling.
If you have been diagnosed or think that you might have arthritis, you should schedule an appointment with a chiropractor today. They will help design treatment options that are specifically tailored to your needs. Chiropractors are beneficial, but often overlooked option for the treatment of your arthritis discomfort.