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What are Arthritis Treatments?

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Arthritis treatments offered by a chiropractor involve the use of drug-free, non-invasive therapy, such as spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustment, to help alleviate pain and improve joint function. Chiropractors, who are also known as doctors of chiropractic, often employ holistic methods for treating arthritis naturally and providing relief from other problems from muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease that is characterized by joints that swell, causing patients pain, stiffness, and in most cases decreased function in the hands, knees, feet, hips, and spine. Arthritis may manifest in different ways. For example, it may manifest as an autoimmune disorder of the joints, while in other cases the pain develops as cartilage around the joints, which serves to protect the joints and absorb shock from regular movement, wears out. While arthritis can occur in any joint, it can also affect eyes, mouth, and lungs.

Common forms of arthritis include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Juvenile Arthritis

The cause of arthritis remains unknown, but is thought to often be the result of age, physical injuries that damage the joints, a weak immune system, genetics, environmental factors, or dysfunctional endocrine system.

The following are common symptoms of arthritis:

  • Persistent Fatigue
  • Increased Weakness
  • Decreased Range of Motion
  • Increased Joint Swelling
  • Lingering pain that lasts more than one hour after exercising

Chiropractic Defined

Chiropractic is a field of health care that focuses on the spine and its role in maintaining overall optimal health. Chiropractors, also known as chiropractic physicians or doctors of chiropractic, focus on the relationship between the spine and the how the rest of the body is functioning. If the spine is not properly aligned or if any part of the spine, including the joints, vertebrae, discs, or muscles, are not fully functioning, it may interfere with the nerves that are sending impulses and messages to and from the brain to all other parts of the body.

Chiropractors view the spine as the body’s neurological super highway, transmitting all the motor, sensory, and autonomic functions from the brain to all other parts of the body. For this reason, chiropractors believe that it is important that all of the spine’s vertebrae remain aligned, protecting the body’s nerves.

Chiropractic Arthritis Treatments

Spinal manipulation is a hands-on treatment that is at the core of chiropractic care and a useful tool in treating arthritis. During a spinal manipulation, the chiropractor aims to correct any misalignments along the spine, also known as spinal subluxations, which are thought to cause pain and interfere with nerve function.

Your chiropractor will first consult with you about your medical history, perform a thorough physical exam, and evaluate your spine to locate any misalignments that may be causing arthritis pain. If any vertebral subluxations are detected, your chiropractor will most likely recommend treating the affected areas with a series of arthritis treatments.

During a spinal manipulation, your chiropractor will place you in a specific position to target your affected areas. Patients are often positioned lying face down or on their side on a specially designed, padded chiropractic table. Using his or her hands, the chiropractor will apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint. The aim is to push it beyond its normal range of motion, but not outside of the range it is designed to move. It is common to hear a popping or cracking noise during this chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractic care often employs a holistic approach, incorporating other drug-free, natural techniques in treating patients. Other arthritis treatments that some chiropractic physicians use include heat, water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric currents, and acupuncture. Chiropractors may also prescribe chiropractic supports such as straps, tape, braces, or shoe inserts. To help patients achieve long-term health, doctors of chiropractic will recommend changes in lifestyle that affect the patient’s overall health and arthritis, and will often refer patients to other health practitioners to improve health. Most chiropractic physicians also counsel patients about health concepts such as nutrition, exercise, changes in lifestyle, and stress management.

If you are experiencing pain from arthritis, consult with a chiropractor in your area to discuss how chiropractic arthritis treatments can help you alleviate pain naturally and achieve a higher level of overall health.

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