At Isanti Family Chiropractic Clinic I am treating arthritis every day. As a dentist treats tooth decay, chiropractors are treating osteoarthritis (OA). When your dentist is done fixing your teeth, the dentist will have you come in every six months to have your teeth cleaned to help avoid cavities. In the same manner, when your spinal joints are out of pain and your joints are fully corrected the chiropractor will have you come in on a regular basis to avoid the progression of the degenerative arthritic process that occurs in 85% of people over 55.
By conservative estimates, roughly 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). OA is defined as degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, most common from middle age onward. It causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, spine, shoulder and thumb joints. Chiropractors are uniquely qualified and positioned to play a significant role in helping arthritis sufferers experience relief. As these staggering numbers continue to grow, the need for long-lasting, non-invasive, and drugless relief for arthritis sufferers is becoming very popular and relevant. Let's go through a list of four strategies that will help you rid your body of arthritis pain, either totally gone or obtain some major relief. Here is the list:
1) Chiropractic Adjustments. As a chiropractor, this might seem obvious, but truly I have been treating OA in my office on a daily basis. Let's talk about joint cartilage so we can understand why chiropractic works so well for treating OA. Joint cartilage has no blood vessels going to them. Therefore joint cartilage depends on movement in order to get the nutrients it needs. This is where the chiropractic adjustment comes in. If I find a joint that is not moving as it should, whether that is a result of injury (e.g. auto injury, sports injury, etc.), overuse, underuse, poor posture, poor bedding, etc., I will use a chiropractic joint adjustment to restore mobility and joint posture allowing that joint just adjusted to be compressed and decompressed keeping that joint well fed and hydrated. A 2014 study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation shows not only the safety of a chiropractic adjustment for patients with arthritic degenerative discs but also the study demonstrated that a chiropractic adjustment will reduce arthritic pain, improve the height of the degenerative disc and improve function and mobility in those same spinal vertebral joints. Everyone with osteoarthritis deserves to be evaluated by a doctor of chiropractic to determine if there is help for their degenerative (arthritic joints).
2) Daily Exercises. Exercise is a must in the OA treatment protocol. What is the purpose of exercise? We exercise is used to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the affected joint and add balance to the area in and around the affected joint. Mobility tools are also used to desensitize the nerve which will relax the muscle and allow greater joint mobility When I prescribe exercise I expect those exercises to give the patient greater control over their pain, increase their range of motion and improve balance, coordination, and posture. What gets measured gets managed. In my office, we do a joint mobility check to determine where we need to focus on the prescribed exercises. The assigned exercises will be done at home and in the office. We have our patients journal the exercises to help determine the effectiveness of the exercise program.
3) Nutrtional Therapeutics. We use in my practice what we call our "Arthritis Relief Package". It includes a product called Chondro Relief Plus. This product includes Glucosamine HCl and Chondroitin Sulfate which promote the rebuilding of cartilage (this used to be thought as something that never happens). Rebuilding cartilage includes thickening of the cartilage and increasing the ability of the cartilage to hold water (rehydration). The other ingredient is methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM), MSM does a good job reducing joint pain and reducing inflammation. The most critical thing MSM does is that it is a key ingredient in collagen formation. Collagen is a protein that is the main component of healthy muscles, tendons and ligaments and is therefore highly important for flexible, pain-free joints. The other two products we use for joint inflammation is Vitamin D3 and EPA-DHA (omega 3 fatty acids). Vitamin D3 has been studied by the American College of Rheumatology and they published a paper in July of 2019 in their publication "Open Rheumatology" showing the effectiveness of Vitamin D3 in reducing inflammation of OA joints. EPA-DHA itself reduces joint inflammation and inhibits the enzymes that breakdown joint cartilage.
4) Get to a healthy height to weight ratio. In the Harvard Health Newsletter, Healthbeat they write: Let's look at weight and your knees. When you walk across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. That means a 200-pound man will put 300 pounds of pressure on his knees with each step. Add an incline, and the pressure is even greater: the force on each knee is two to three times your body weight when you go up and downstairs, and four to five times your body weight when you squat to tie a shoelace or pick up an item you dropped.
Getting to that ideal weight does take work and can be difficult. If you can do it yourself, I say go for it. If you need help we offer coaching. We put a plan together for you that includes dietary, nutrition, lifestyle and exercise considerations. Our Facebook page High Tech Professional Weight Management we discuss how we use genetic testing to determine what is the best diet for you. We offer lab tests to determine adrenal and thyroid function. Both adrenal and thyroid will hold you back from losing weight if they are not functioning optimally.
These four strategies that will help limit the effect arthritis has on your activity level. Call us today at 763 377 2209 and we will help you plan out your journey on the road to an active, healthy lifestyle.