What Is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is a disorder of the joints primarily caused by inflammation. Inflammation causes pain and often makes joints stiff and difficult to move. It’s possible to have arthritis in only one joint or in multiple joints. Although arthritis typically affects older people, certain types can also affect people of any age, even children.
What Causes Arthritis and How Many Types Are There?
There are many types of arthritis – the most common are rheumatoid(RA) and osteo-arthritis(OA). RA is characterized by red and swollen joints – affects the extremities more than spine and can be seen at any age. OA is an age related arthritis that is made worse by injuries and excessive pressure due to gravity/posture. RA can be helped with therapy and manipulation for flareups and pain – but long-term management is proper nutrition, exercise and medication. OA is treated very successfully by therapy and manipulation to restore range of motion and reduce pain levels – however, home exercise and postural correction are also very important components of successful management. Spinal injection procedures are also very successful at blocking pain and reducing inflammation of the affected joints and can be utilized on joints affected by OA and RA.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis can be characterized by:
- Redness and swelling of the affected joints
- Pain and tenderness in affected joints
- Warmth around the affected joint
- Stiffness and a reduced range of motion in the affected joint
- Limping when the affected joint is the hip, knee, or ankle
- Weakness of the affected joint
Arthritis can be diagnosed with x-ray imaging and by ruling out other causes. Although for many people arthritis is more of an annoyance than a concerning medical condition, however, severe pain must always be taken seriously because it can be extremely debilitating.
How Can a Chiropractor Help Manage Arthritis Pain?
One of the most popular treatments for arthritis is the use of NSAID drugs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. These can be hard on the stomach and have even been linked to severe stomach ulcers. Chiropractic treatment, however, is an all-natural and effective way to reduce arthritis pain without the use of medications or invasive treatments. At Lundgren Chiropractic, we treat arthritis pain in a variety of ways. The cornerstone of arthritis treatment is gentle spinal manipulation, which restores normal range of motion to the affected joint and promotes the body’s natural healing mechanisms. When the joint range of motion is restored, the body is better able to reduce inflammation on its own. Exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet may also be recommended.
Medical pain management is appropriate when conservative care is not enough to alleviate the joint irritation and/or pain. Using specific, often miraculous interventional procedures – our pain physician can alleviate often long-standing and extreme pain.