As people age, it is common to believe that the pain and discomfort associated with our joints is an everyday occurrence that we are forced to live with. However, while our joints can experience levels of degradation as we age, the pain and reduced mobility that is often associated with arthritis don't have to be something that we suffer through. So instead, let's review some of the facts about chiropractic care and how it can be beneficial in treating the pain associated with arthritis.
Many people believe that chiropractors don't do any work beyond that focused on the spine. And while It is true that the majority of work that chiropractors do surrounds issues associated with the spine, if you think this is the only work that chiropractors do, you are likely to miss a lot of the additional benefits of chiropractic care.
In addition to spinal work, chiropractors also specialize in issues that surround our joints. Since the vertebrae that make up our spinal column contain joints between each vertebra, it becomes more apparent how chiropractors can help with your arthritis when you think of them as joint specialists.
Arthritis typically occurs when something irritates the joints, which can be a deterioration of the joint itself. As joints deteriorate, they may become irritated more frequently by multiple factors such as increased movement, regular movement, or changes in temperature, which can cause inflammation and pain.
This chronic pain and inflammation are what we refer to as arthritis. Many patients take prescription or over-the-counter medications to manage the effects of arthritis. Still, drugs will only treat the symptoms and don't get to the root cause of your discomfort.
During your first visit, your chiropractor will conduct an initial exam. In this exam, they will review your medical and family histories and perform a physical exam. During this initial visit, they usually issue a diagnosis and design a treatment plan that is best suited for you.
Typically, patients experiencing issues related to arthritis can expect their chiropractor to suggest gentle manipulation of those joints for several weeks. However, you should start to notice the benefits of your treatment plan between two and six weeks.
Chiropractic care is effective in treating the issues and symptoms associated with arthritis. So much so that patients may not require the use of potentially addicting medications to manage pain during their treatment.
If you are experiencing active swelling in your joints, it may be a bad time to have a chiropractor adjust the joint. If you are unsure if you are a good candidate, you should visit your chiropractor to get their advice.
However, even if you cannot receive a physical adjustment due to swelling, your chiropractor will likely be able to suggest and conduct other therapies to grant you some relief. Some of these therapies that can be performed in their office include:
Ultrasound – While ultrasounds are typically thought of as an imaging tool, they can also produce gentle massage to the offending joints. This massage can decrease swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joint.
Electrotherapy – These gentle electric pulses are designed to stimulate nerves and muscles near the painful joint to reduce pain and swelling.
Moist heat therapy– Moist heat packs are designed to relax muscles and joints, reduce pain, increase blood flow and help with mobilization without dehydrating the tissue-like dry heat may do.
If you have been diagnosed with or think you might have arthritis, you should schedule an appointment with a chiropractor today. They will help design a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs. Chiropractors are a beneficial but often overlooked option for treating your arthritis discomfort.