Arthritis also known as degenerative joint disease can often be a scary term for our patients often stirring images of deformed fingers and hoppling hip pain. The most commonly known arthritis, Osteoarthritis is a is a natural process that happens in the body, causing wear and tear of joints. This wear and tear can cause inflammation in the joints causing pain and stiffness. Many people worry about Osteoarthritis and joint pain.
How is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
Generally a health practitioner can diagnose osteoarthritis through a thorough history and examination. X-rays are useful in determining how mild or how severe your arthritis may be.
Why do people get Osteoarthritis
Although Osteoarthritis can be natural part of aging, IDEALY you should be developing arthritis equally throughout all Joints. This however is not the case and in our clinic, it’s not uncommon to see certain parts of patient’s bodies to be more worn and torn than others. There are several reasons why patients may present with arthritis in certain joints but not others, here are some that we commonly see in our clinic:
Previous injuries for e.g Car crash whiplash injuries can cause accelerated arthritis in the neck compared to the rest of the spine.
Other reasons for arthritis may also be ineffective body mechanics. For e.g If an individual has joints have decreased flexibility then, you tend to see those areas develop arthritis faster there compared to other joints.
Another reason for arthritis is repetitive wear and tear. An example of this is a worker whose job involves repetitive lifting, may get arthritis in their big load bearing joints such as the knee, hips or low back.
Prolonged pressure on joints over time For eg. Prolonged head flexion looking down at a laptop or smart phone may cause accelerated arthritis in the neck over other joints.
What can I do for arthritis
Due to the nature of these conditions, often the Arthritis cannot be stopped with physical modality treatments. Thus, the aim of Chiropractic isn’t necessarily to reverse the Arthritis. The aim is often to improve function of the joints and in turn decrease pain levels and improve quality of life. We are often still able to perform adjustments to affected joints; however we try to be as specific and as gentle as possible.