3.85 million Australians suffer from arthritis pain and stiffness. This means that 1 out of 5 Australians are arthritis sufferers (Access Economics 2007 and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) Unfortunately the drugs used to treat arthritis can cause a number of unwanted side effects, including ulcers.
Fortunately, if you or your family member is an arthritis sufferer, your doctor at Hinterland Chiropractic can help you find drug-free relief by promoting optimal spinal alignment, which helps keeps affected joints in tip-top shape.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is common but also commonly misunderstood. It is not a single disease, but a catchall term that refers to joint pain or disease. In fact there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis and related conditions.
Arthritis affects people of all ages, sexes, and races, but it is most common among women and occurs more often as people age. (Arthritis Foundation).
Arthritis is most common in the hips, knees, hands, and back where it causes pain, muscle weakness, stiffness, swelling, and in sever cases, joint deformity.
There are two major types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) involves deterioration of the connective tissues and underlying bone of a joint. OA can be thought of as “wear and tear” arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that usually affects the small joints of the hands and feet. RA affects joint linings causing pain and swelling that can result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
The best answer for arthritis is prevention, which why chiropractic treatment can be key. Because research shows that joint injury or trauma is often associated with arthritis (Ann Intern Med 2000;133:321-28), keeping your joints healthy is a useful strategy against arthritis. Maintaining good spinal alignment encourages circulation, which keeps joint nourished with a steady supply of blood and reduces the chance of injury.
This is why your Hinterland doctor stresses taking even minor joint injuries seriously, particularly among the young. Among 65 year olds, more than twice as many arthritis sufferers (knee) reported previous knee injuries than those who did not have arthritis (Ann Intern Med 2000;133:321-28). So avoiding or treating joint injury is important to avoiding arthritis.
Chiropractic treatment is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. In one study of 25 patients suffering back pain pursuant to arthritis, patients were given hot packs alone, or hot packs in conjunction with chiropractic treatment. The patients receiving chiropractic treatment reported “greater and more rapid pain reduction and greater and more rapid ROM (range of movement] improvement than the moist heat group” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006;29-107-14).
Unlike OA, RA is an inflammatory autoimmune disease attacking the connective tissue of the joints. In a study on complementary and alternative medicine of 232 patients with RA, two-thirds of the patients had used and benefited from CAM with chiropractic care being the number one treatment on those patients’ list (Ann Intern Med 1999;131:409-16).
Health Issues Related to Arthritis
Arthritis can also be related to other physical maladies including Lyme’s Disease. Lyme’s Disease can be avoided by covering up to avoid the ticks that carry it. About 5 per cent of arthritis sufferers have Psoriatic Arthritis, which leads to inflammation of joint and bone tissues.
Fibromyalgia is also a condition associated with widespread chronic pain, fatigue, memory problems and mood changes. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatoid condition and is more likely in people who have other rheumatic diseases, like RA. About 20 to 30 precent of people with rheumatoid arthritis also develop fibromyalgia (Arthritis Foundation).
Chiropractic care has been shown to be effective in treating Fibromyalgia as a Canadian study of 21 patients showed. After 4 weeks of spinal manipulation and soft-tissue therapy chiropractic treatment improved patients’ ranges of motion and reported pain levels (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1997;20:389-99).
There are several strategies to avoid or manage arthritis:
- Chiropractic treatment can minimise the effects of joint trauma and thus decrease the chances of arthritis developing.
- Chiropractic treatment can increase flexibility and decrease pain in sufferers.
- Maintaining a healthy weight decreases the wear and tear on your joints.
- Exercise, even light exercise, can strengthen muscles and reduce stress on joints.
Get Arthritis Help at Hinterland Chiropractic
At Hinterland Chiropractic we provide holistic and non-drug based solutions for a variety of health problems including arthritis and fibromyalgia. We can identify and treat both the causes of arthritis and arthritis itself. Our doctors will work with you to create a whole body wellness program that will help you avoid, or deal with arthritis.
Visit us soon and receive a COMPLETE Consultation and Examination. Yours for ONLY $45! Call us today on 07 5527 3133 or book your appointment online.