Joint pain is a common problem that affects mobility, flexibility, and strength. It can affect your ability to accomplish routine tasks and can cause intense pain throughout the body.
Arthritis is one of the most prevalent causes of joint pain. It is also a condition that health care professionals frequently diagnose and treat. The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 54 million people in the United States alone have arthritis. Alarmingly, this is about 23% of all adults in the country. The good news is there is help available to treat the symptoms. Chiropractors can take you through various routines and treatments to provide relief.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis occurs when you have swelling and tenderness in a joint or multiple joints in your body. This condition happens when the cartilage near joints begins to break down. This may happen due to wear and tear, injuries, or accidents. The disease comes in two primary forms: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The latter is different in that it is related to your immune system. It occurs when this system attacks joints, causing swelling and inflammation. Untreated, the disease can destroy cartilage. There are more than 100 types of the disease in all.
Signs and Symptoms
There are key symptoms of arthritis to keep an eye on. If you notice any of these, you should seek relief right away. You may first feel the pain in the joints. This can start as mild or moderate pain and increase to intense and excruciating pain. These feelings can occur in any joint and may be present in multiple joints simultaneously, such as the shoulders, spine, and neck. Another common sign is decreased flexibility and range of motion. You may also experience stiffness and swelling. Some symptoms may be visible, such as redness in the affected area.
People Who Are More at Risk
It is helpful to understand what issues might make you more prone to having arthritis. Like many other diseases, arthritis more often affects older people, particularly those over age 65. Women are also more likely to contend with arthritis than men. Additionally, the disease can run in the family and make a person more susceptible to it. Being obese and suffering joint injuries can increase the likelihood of having arthritis in some form.
Visiting the Chiropractor for Treatment
Living with this condition can hamper your quality of life and make it difficult to function normally. Chiropractors can be a good source of help. If you have any of the symptoms of the disease, visit a chiropractor near you. This professional will first discuss how you are feeling and how long you have been experiencing joint pain. The chiropractor may then perform strength and range of motion tests. X-rays and MRIs can also reveal damage to the joints, muscles, cartilage, and bone. Once the chiropractor has a picture of what you are facing, appropriate treatment can begin.
When arthritis is afflicting your spine, neck, or shoulders, chiropractic care can be effective. The first line of defense may be a spinal adjustment. This treatment brings the spine into proper alignment, promoting a good range of motion, flexibility, and strength. This exercise can also decrease inflammation and pressure on joints. To do it, the chiropractor will use his or her hands or an instrument to move the spine into the right place. The chiropractor does this by using sudden controlled force on the spine as you lie face-down on a table or sit in a chair.
To treat arthritis, the chiropractor may try other methods as well. Applying cold to the affected site can dull the pain you are feeling. Stretching exercises and massages can soothe the muscles surrounding the joints. Delivering electrical impulses to the muscles and joints may also provide the pain relief you need to resume normal activities. With these treatments, the chiropractor may have you come into the office multiple times for an extended period. The type and duration of your treatment will depend on the severity of your condition.
If arthritis is plaguing you, talk to a chiropractor today. Effective treatment is available and can help you once again enjoy a high quality of life.
By: Dr. Terry McSweeney
Dr. McSweeney is certified in Manipulation Under Anesthesia and is a member of both the New Jersey Chiropractic Society and American Chiropractic Society; he is also a board member of the Mount Prospect Partnership and director of Mayor Quintana’s Health Program. Click here to learn more about us.