How Can a Chiropractor Help Arthritis?
Arthritis is a common health complaint that affects millions of people all over the world. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 22% of adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis in the United States. Unfortunately, living with this disease can be difficult since arthritis can present with various symptoms, such as joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, restricted joint mobility, inflammation, and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, these symptoms can all make it hard to participate even in the simplest daily activities.
Typical treatments for arthritis include pain-relieving medications and injections. However, in severe cases, surgery (most likely a joint replacement) may be necessary as well. It’s needless to say that most people would like to avoid these invasive, and often painful treatment methods and try to get relief with alternatives when possible. One great option to consider is chiropractic care. You may be wondering how a chiropractor can help arthritis?
Today, we will discuss how you can benefit from this holistic treatment option when dealing with arthritis.
Why Chiropractic Care
Seeking holistic treatments like chiropractic care may be a great idea for you if you are suffering from arthritic joints. This is because chiropractic treatment techniques can improve not only spine health but they can also help promote better health for other joints. When chiropractors restore the innate balance to the body, especially at the spine, it can result in better bodily functions and overall health. Ultimately, when taking part in your daily activities, you may experience less pain, strain, and wear on your arthritic joints.
Although arthritis is an incurable disease, with chiropractic care your arthritis symptoms can be much better managed. So you can stay more active and avoid unnecessary suffering.
Types of Arthritis Chiropractors Can Address
As mentioned above, arthritis is a common health issue among people. While the prevalence of this disease increases with age, it affects women more frequently than men according to the data provided by the CDC. Also, arthritis has many different types. Indeed, it’s an umbrella term that covers more than 100 health conditions that affect the integrity of the joints and surrounding connective tissues. When it comes to chiropractic care, chiropractors can help you address many different types of arthritis, including two of the most common ones: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA).
RA is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1.5 million Americans. With this type of arthritis, the body is attacking its own healthy tissues, including the joints. Thus, it can lead to serious joint damage and deformity as well when the body is actively inflamed. Fortunately, chiropractors can help minimize the tissue damage and provide a better quality of life for those who are suffering from RA.
In the United States, OA is considered the most common type of arthritis. Over 30 million Americans have to deal with this degenerative joint disease that is caused by the breakdown of cartilage within the joint. In most cases, it affects the hands, knees, hips, and spine (typically only one side at a time). Thus, hand pain, knee pain, hip pain, neck pain, and back pain are common symptoms among patients. Plus, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion can also be experienced by those dealing with arthritis.
Unfortunately, arthritis often leads to poor movement mechanics that can trigger the onset of arthritis in other joints as well.
Common risk factors for arthritis include the following:
- poor posture
- previous injury
- poor mechanics
- family history
- overuse of joints
- lack of activity
Chiropractic Treatment Options for Arthritis
Whether you have arthritis symptoms secondary to RA or OA, or you are at risk for developing arthritis, you can benefit from holistic, chiropractic treatment options. Chiropractors use non-invasive, natural treatment techniques to help patients manage their symptoms or prevent arthritis. Are you curious how a chiropractor can help arthritis? Then let’s dive into the most common treatment options used by chiropractors to treat arthritis symptoms.
Although in the following we will review the most frequently used methods, the exact treatment plan your chiropractor will use will depend on your needs and health goals.
#1. Chiropractic adjustments
Chiropractors can detect even the tiniest misalignments in the neuromusculoskeletal system and address them with chiropractic adjustments (also known as manipulation). These gentle adjustments applied to the spine or other joints can provide better alignment, nerve integrity, and tissue health for you. Chiropractic adjustments can work great for arthritis as well, regardless of which joint is affected by this disease. Since the adjustments reduce the strain on the arthritic joints, this treatment tool can effectively relieve pain in the affected area and give you more energy and strength for daily activities.
#2. Other natural pain management techniques
While chiropractic adjustments can give you pain relief when suffering from knee pain, back pain, or hip pain, sometimes you may need additional pain-relieving modalities. Common natural pain management techniques are ultrasound, electrotherapy, mechanical traction, and temperature therapy (ice packs/heating pads). All these methods can help manage your pain secondary to arthritis without the need for medication. And not only in the clinic! After trying these options with your chiropractor, you can transition to use many of them at home as well.
#3. Recommendations for lifestyle modifications
Our lifestyle choices can play a significant role in the onset of arthritis and the aggravation of the symptoms. Therefore, chiropractors often recommend some changes in a patient’s lifestyle. With the guidance of your chiropractor, you can make better lifestyle choices that can promote better, sustainable health for you. These lifestyle modifications may include changes to your sleep habits, stress management, eating habits, and exercise.
#4. Training for better balance and flexibility
Your chiropractor may advise you to do special exercises and stretches in order to restore your muscle balance, promote better muscle strength, and enhance flexibility. Personalized exercise training can also help you to learn how to move properly when participating in your daily activities. Doing your daily tasks with a good posture can make a huge difference in the health of your spine and other joints in the long term.
#5. Is there something else?
Of course! Depending on your needs your chiropractor will decide on which course of action may be the best for you. Most likely, it will be one or more from the above-mentioned methods but there are some additional options to try as well. Since chiropractors see the human body as an interconnected complex system, they understand how one system within your body can affect another one and cause health issues, such as arthritis. This also means that by choosing a chiropractor for your arthritis needs, you will certainly be in good hands. If you are ready to seek chiropractic care and you live in Grand Rapids, MI, consider getting in touch with our professional team at Advanced Spine and Rehab.
What Are The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatments for Arthritis?
It’s clear to see that consulting a chiropractor for arthritis can bring you some enormous health benefits. But what are the specific benefits you might expect from regular chiropractic treatments? Here is a list to give you an idea of the potential health benefits:
- Pain relief
- Optimal muscle balance
- Increased muscle strength
- Improved biomechanics in daily activities/sports
- Enhanced range of motion
- Reduction of inflammation
- Better ability to heal
- Improved nerve integrity and flow
- Better joint and overall health
- Prevention of the exacerbation of arthritis symptoms
While these are the most common benefits, depending on your situation, you may experience other health benefits as well.
It’s Time to Look for a Chiropractor
Now that you have a better understanding of why chiropractic care is a great option for addressing your arthritis symptoms and what the potential benefits are when seeking care from a chiropractor, it’s time to look for a chiropractor. Although all certified chiropractors can help you feel better and reach your health goals, if possible, consider finding someone near you who holds a specific certification in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP). These chiropractors are trained in protocols that are based on research and can help them restore the body’s innate balance and alignment.
Once you find a CBP-certified chiropractor in your area, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at their clinic. During the first visit, you can expect an initial assessment where your chiropractor takes a look at your current health state and tries to determine the main underlying cause of your arthritis symptoms. This allows them to design a treatment plan for you that fits your particular needs the best. Although your chiropractor will most likely focus on managing your symptoms in a better way first, over time the main focus will change to full body holistic care to prevent symptom progression. This means that the goal will be to promote optimal body balance and sustainable management for your symptoms in the long term.
If you are in Grand Rapids, MI, you can give a call to Advanced Spine and Rehab. Since our entire team is certified in CBP, regardless of the severity of your arthritis symptoms, you can trust us with your arthritis needs. We can help you better manage your symptoms, or you can get help with prevention as well. Don’t let this disease determine the way you live your life. Get back control as soon as possible by seeking chiropractic care!