Arthritis is a commonly used term to describe a wide range of arthritic conditions. Increasingly, more people are turning to natural supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondroiton and chiropractic care as an alternative to drugs to help reduce or eliminate the pain and impairment this debilitating condition can create.
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is also known as degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease (DJD), or spondylosis if it is in the spine. The condition is caused by wearing of the cartilage that lines the joint. Cartilage covers the end of the bone and acts as a cushion. When joint cartilage is damaged, the sensitive bones usually protected by the cartilage can begin to rub against each other causing severe pain, swelling, and immobility. The most common areas of the body that develop degenerative joints are the spine, knees, hips, and fingers. In some cases, the bone around the joint proliferates and makes osteophytes, or bone spurs. Bone spurs can cause painful irritation to nerves and other tissues around the joint, complicating the condition.
Taking care of one’s joints at an early age can help prevent osteoarthritis. This includes:
- Receiving regular chiropractic adjustments
- Seeking proper care for injuries to ensure healing
- Wearing footwear that provides support and shock absorption
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
Chiropractic adjustments are a safe and effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the spine. Chiropractic can help restore proper mobility and function to the spinal joints, provide pain relief, and prevent further damage. Massage, stabilization, gentle exercise, and heat and ice therapy are also helpful treatments in the care of painful and stiff joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation in the joints. The small joints of the hands, feet, knees, and shoulder are most commonly affected, though other areas of the body can be affected as well. In more advanced forms, the disease can affect many of the other body systems. Symptoms can include:
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle and joint pain stiffness
Your doctor can run specific blood tests to help identify rheumatoid arthritis. Management includes a combination of medication, vitamins, and diet. Chiropractic adjustments, joint mobilization, massage, and heat therapy can also help with the pain and stiffness associated the condition.