Arthritis Pain and Chiropractic Care

Arthritis isn’t a single disease, it’s an umbrella term for joint pain and disease that consists of more than 100 different types.  Arthritis mainly affects joints but there are types that affect some surprising areas of the body including the ear, eyes, lungs, kidneys, and skin.  More than 50 million adults suffer from arthritis in some form with women at a higher risk of having it than men and the odds of developing arthritis increases as we age.  

Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and typically include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.  

Types of Arthritis

Degenerative Arthritis

This is the most common type of arthritis.  It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones at the joints wears away so the bones rub against each other.  It can be very painful and result in swelling and stiffness too.

Using hot and cold treatments, alternating rest and activity, taking over-the-counter pain medications, as well as maintaining a healthy weight can help ease mild or moderate cases of osteoarthritis but joint replacement might be the best solution in more severe cases. 

The good news is that by staying active, avoiding repetitive motions and injury, and maintaining a healthy weight, you can prevent osteoarthritis from developing in the first place.

Inflammatory Arthritis

When the body detects a foreign substance like an infection, the immune system sends out lymphocytes to attack the invaders in the affected area.  Inflammatory arthritis occurs when an overactive immune system mistakenly attacks the joints with inflammation when there is no infection and the inflammation causes the joint to erode over time.  It can also cause damage in other parts of the body like the eyes, heart, and lungs. Types of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Smoking increases the risk of inflammatory arthritis.

Currently, there is no cure for inflammatory arthritis, however, there are several different types of medications that are used to lessen the effects of it.  

Infectious Arthritis

Infectious (septic) arthritis occurs when a bacteria, virus, or fungus gets into the joint causing it to become inflamed.  Examples include salmonella, chlamydia, and Hepatitis C. Clearing up the infection with an antibiotic is usually successful in types of infectious arthritis caused by bacteria, and antifungal and antivirus medications may be successful at treating the other types.

Chiropractic Arthritis Care

Chiropractic manipulation may be the safest and most holistic treatment for osteoarthritis.  It works well for treating neck and lower back pain that are a result of osteoarthritis without the use of harmful pain killers.  It can reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. It also increases range of motion.  

For other types of inflammatory arthritis, chiropractic treatments may not be the best course of action until the inflammation and swelling are under control first.  Chiropractors do have other therapies to help with inflammatory arthritis such as hydrotherapy, moist heat therapy, and ice therapies.  

Untreated spinal misalignments can cause cartilage to wear away that leads to wearing of the bones.  Spinal adjustments to realign the spine and restoring the position of the bones can keep the bones from grinding on each other.    

If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, North County Chiropractic may be able to help. We can determine if chiropractic care would be effective in treating your arthritis pain. Call North County at (314)731-4201 and schedule your appointment today.