As we age, many of us start to feel pain in certain joints, particularly in the hands, hips, knees, feet and spine. This seems especially common in women. A doctor might make the broad diagnosis of arthritis, an inflammation of the joint that causes pain and stiffness, but do you know that there are at least 100 different types of arthritis that fall under this very broad umbrella?
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage between the bones in the joint breaks down, causing pain as the bones grind against one another. Typical causes are aging, repetitive use, being overweight and a family history of the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder of the joints that usually begins between the ages of 30 – 50, is also quite common. Symptoms that include swelling, redness and a feeling of warmth usually begin in the small joints of the fingers, wrists and feet. More common in women than men, this condition can be very disabling, affecting one’s ability to work and lead a normal life.
Other common types of arthritis include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, Scleroderma and carpal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, physical therapy and different combinations of drugs may be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Can Chiropractic Help Your Joint Pain?
Chiropractic care may be helpful at both preventing arthritis and in reducing pain and lack of mobility in those who already have the condition. How? When a person has arthritis, pain keeps them from moving. Lack of movement reduces the use of the joint and decreases range of motion, which makes the condition worse.
Chiropractic adjustments may help to increase mobility in the joints, causing more movement and a reduction in pain. They also may help slow down the progression of the arthritic condition.
Chiropractic care may also help prevent arthritic conditions because it encourages specific behaviors and habits that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle, such as diet, proper weight maintenance and exercise.
In addition, chiropractic adjustments help to keep the spine properly aligned and the nervous system, which controls the immune system, functioning optimally.