Chiropractic Treatment of Arthritis
Although arthritis is a relatively common condition, it’s not all that well understood. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2010 to 2012, an estimated 52.5 million U.S. adults were diagnosed with some form of arthritis, and by 2040, an estimated 78 million U.S. adults are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
Many of our patients who suffer from arthritis find that medication alone doesn’t offer complete relief. The management of arthritic pain varies from person to person, but many individuals have been helped a great deal by chiropractic treatment.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is actually not a single disease, but rather an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can suffer from it, making arthritis the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
Common Causes of Arthritis
Some of the potential causes of arthritis include:
- Injury, which leads to degenerative arthritis
- Abnormal metabolism, resulting in gout and pseudo-gout.
- Inheritance, as in osteoarthritis
- Infection, as with arthritis of Lyme disease
- Dysfunction of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Most types of arthritis are caused by a combination of many of these factors. Also, previous injury, smoking, and physically demanding occupations can interact with a person’s genetics to increase their risk for arthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis symptoms can develop gradually or very suddenly. There are generally several early warning signs of arthritis that should prompt a consultation with a healthcare provider. These include:
- Pain, either constant or intermittent, isolated to one place or felt throughout the body
- Swelling that causes the skin over the affected joint to become red, swollen, and feel warm to the touch
- Stiffness that doesn’t go away with movement, particularly upon waking up in the morning, after sitting for a long period of time, or after exercise
- Decreased range of motion, especially when combined with pain or swelling in the joints
Arthritis is typically diagnosed with a process that includes a detailed medical history of current and past symptoms, physical examination, and specific radiographic and laboratory studies.
Relief from Arthritis Pain
Those living with arthritis often turn to medication first, but there are other approaches that can help you control your pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain function and quality of life, including:
- Non-pharmacological therapies
- Chiropractic treatment
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Assistive aids
- Patient education and support
- Weight management
- Joint replacement and joint surgery
Chiropractic Treatment of Arthritis
When treating arthritis at Tuck Chiropractic Clinic, we look at a broad spectrum of issues and address them to minimize joint damage, slow the progress of the condition, and ease pain. Some of the treatments we may use include:
- Ultrasound therapy, which is applied to soft tissues and joints to produce a massaging effect to help reduce swelling and decrease pain and stiffness
- Trigger-point therapy, which is applying gentle pressure to a specific muscle to alleviate pain
- Cold laser therapy, which uses a non-heat producing laser or light that penetrates deep into the tissue to reduce inflammation
- Therapeutic exercises, which are physical activities designed to support strength and endurance
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