DOES CHIROPRACTIC CARE HELP ARTHRITIS?
Chiropractic care is a natural and non-invasive way to address many types of pain. Chiropractors focus on the relationships of the structures of the body and function, and one area where chiropractic care is extremely beneficial in improving the function of an arthritic joint. While the goal of chiropractic care is to restore movement and function, the proper type of adjustment must be matched to the form of arthritis.
For some forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis that can cause pain in the spine, chiropractic care is typically a safe and effective treatment. However, for arthritic conditions caused by an inflammatory disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, care must be exercised. It is helpful to understand the different types of arthritis when trying to understand what types of arthritis may be helped by chiropractic adjustment.
Rheumatoid arthritis, commonly called RA, is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints. This causes inflammation of the synovium, the tissue that lines the inside of joints. This swelling makes it painful to move the joint. Patients with active swelling from an arthritic condition should use caution as a high-velocity chiropractic adjustment may exacerbate the situation.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and one of the most common medical conditions, affecting over 25 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is the result of deteriorating cartilage, a protective material that covers the ends of bones and cushions the joints. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but is predominantly found in the weight-bearing structures of the spine, hips, and knees. A visit to your family chiropractor for treatment for joint dysfunction, especially in the spine, can relieve the pressure and mobilize the joints to decrease the pain. A less forceful type of manipulation, commonly called “traction,” may also be used. Here the gentle and steady stretching force is applied to the affected area.
Other forms of treatment may also be used. These include:
- Ultrasound: When applied to soft tissues and joints, the sound waves produce a gentle massaging effect that can aid in reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain.
- Electrotherapy: Tiny, painless electric pulses are used to stimulate muscles and nerve fibers.
- Low-Level Laser: Also called “cold laser,” a non-heat producing laser penetrates deep into the tissue to reduce inflammation.
- Infrared Heat Sauna: Small booths use controlled amounts of infrared heat to warm the joints from the inside to increase circulation and reduce pain.
Before any treatment is administered, your family chiropractor should take a detailed medical history, perform a thorough exam, and perhaps take X-rays to determine what treatment approach is right for your specific condition.
If you are experiencing arthritic pain, give our Pure Family Chiropractic office in Brookfield, New Berlin, or Williams Bay a call today to schedule a consultation. Our highly trained staff is experienced in helping our patients who suffer from arthritis and other health problems.