Arthritis is one of the most common and painful afflictions in the world. Chronic arthritis can strike anyone, anywhere, and when it does, it can be quite debilitating. There are many treatment options available when it comes to arthritis, ranging from surgery to a regimen of costly and powerful medications, but unfortunately both have serious drawbacks in the form of difficult recovery and debilitating side effects. Fortunately, there are other, more natural, options out there as well. Seeing a chiropractor can be a surprisingly effective way to reduce the pains of your arthritis and increase the quality of your life.
What is Arthritis
Arthritis refers to the painful inflammation and stiffening of your joints. There are actually over a hundred different types of arthritis, each one with its own unique attributes but in every case, you can expect to encounter swelling, pain, stiffness, and a decreased range of motion.
The two most common types of arthritis are degenerative and inflammatory arthritis. Degenerative arthritis occurs when the joint between bones wears away causing two bones to rub together. Inflammatory arthritis, on the other hand, is actually the result of a malfunctioning immune system. Your immune system naturally uses inflammation to kill bacteria, but sometimes it can mistakenly attack your joints causing chronic pain. Inflammatory arthritis is also very painful but can usually be treated without surgery.
Arthritis is common, and in fact is as of now the leading cause of disability in the United States. It can affect people of all ages but it generally tends to grow in severity the older you get. Today, there are over 50,000,000 adults suffering from arthritis, along with 300,000 children.
What Causes Arthritis
There is no one answer to what causes arthritis. Each of the many types of arthritis all have their own unique cause. You could be suffering arthritic pain because of an infection, trauma, inflammation, or just wear and tear. In the case of degenerative arthritis, you could be experiencing the pain simply because of your age, or your exercise patterns. People who are more physically active, especially runners may often be subject to arthritis at some point in their life, especially in their knees.
Unfortunately, very little can be done to prevent the onset of arthritis, and once you have it, it is a life-long affliction. Maintaining a healthy weight and practicing exercise habits that are gentler on your joints are both good ways to minimize your risk, but regardless of your lifestyle, it still may not be preventable. If you already have arthritis, there are fortunately natural ways to treat it that can minimize your need for a life-long heavy medication regimen.
Treatment for Arthritis
Chiropractic treatment of every variety generally begins with an examination. The same way that a surgeon would examine the afflicted parts of your body, so too will your chiropractor look at the areas of your body that are in pain. There is a chance that they may order X-rays.
To treat the arthritis, your chiropractor may work on a series of gentle stretches to sooth the problem area. The focus of a chiropractor, however, is the spine. Chiropractors believe that a properly aligned spine is crucial to optimal central nervous system function. In order to make sure that your spine is in proper alignment your chiropractor will probably perform what is referred to as an adjustment.
The adjustment is a procedure in which your chiropractor applies various amounts of pressure to the spine in an effort to shift misaligned joints and vertebra back into place. Even if you are not experiencing pain in your back, shoulders, or neck, adjusting your spine can still help your arthritis and general wellness. Remember that arthritis is not only a result of trauma. It can also be a product of your body not working properly, which is why keeping your nervous system in optimal order can be crucial to healing.
What comes next is highly individualized. The goal of the chiropractor is to treat not just the symptom, but the person, which is why each recovery plan is personalized to your exact needs. Your chiropractor may prescribe a work out and stretching regimen that you can perform at home to keep you on track. They may also recommend supplements that might help with the swelling and inflammation.
If you are suffering inflammatory arthritis a change of diet could potentially also be in order. Depending on your chiropractor’s expertise on the subject they may also be able to recommend a diet of foods that will naturally reduce the inflammation.
Because arthritis is a lifelong and chronic condition you will probably need to start making regular appointments during which time they will continue to perform adjustments as they are needed, and tweak your diet and rehabilitation regimen to ensure that it continues to best serve your needs.
There is no denying that arthritis is painful and extremely inconvenient but treatment is more accessible than you think, and the good news is that you can enjoy a comfortable and active lifestyle without needing to undergo difficult surgery, or consume harmful and expensive medication.
If you are suffering from arthritis in Austin, contact us at the Moore Chiropractic Health Care Center at (512) 459-5523 today. Dr. Moore will work with you to get you out of pain quickly, safely, and without the need for potentially harmful medications.
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