Osteoarthritis is defined as degeneration cartilage in the joints meant to provide cushioning for daily activities. While some wear and tear is expected with aging, too much of it can lead to pain, disability, and poor quality of life. With an understanding of the disease process, prevention and management are completely feasible without the need for traditional invasive treatment options.
Osteoarthritis – how it can affect daily life.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is most common in the fifth decade of life and beyond. The joints affected most often include the knees and hips from weight-bearing and the shoulders and fingers from repetitive use.
The body’s joints respond best to balanced regular use. Thus, overuse, imbalanced movements, or too little movement can all be a culprit for OA. Other risk factors include past injuries, metabolic diseases (Diabetes, obesity, or heart disease), and being overweight.
The most common symptoms related to OA are stiffness and pain. As severity increases, it can become difficult to complete normal daily activities. Traditional medical models diagnose the severity of OA based on imaging (such as an x-ray) that shows the level of cartilage damage. Yet interestingly there is no direct correlation between how much pain and severity. Each individual deals with OA differently.
Treatment options for OA include physical therapy, weight loss, chiropractic care, massage therapy, injections, pain medications, and surgery. The best treatment is prevention first and then conservative care. Unfortunately, motivation tends to be low until there are symptoms. Additionally, many people may not be aware there is an issue with the way they are moving. This is why having an expert in joint alignment can help.
How Chiropractic Can Help
The development of OA all begins due to an imbalance in the way the body moves. While some local issues can be at play related to muscle strength and flexibility, this balance ultimately comes down to spine alignment.
The core and the spine are the base for which all other movements of the human body are possible. Without the right signals from the brain and spinal cord for proper sequencing, chaos will catch up with the body eventually. When nerve energy is disrupted, muscles cannot coordinate, joints can feel stiff, and movement can become awkward and uncoordinated. Chiropractic adjustments of the spine are shown to not only restore movement to the affected joints but also influence the surrounding tissue and muscle tone to help re-engage the spinal stabilizers, restore ease and improve posture.
Excerpts from: Chiropractic Biophysics