Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and causes pain, aching, stiffness and swelling of the joints. As of March 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced data estimating that 54.4 million U.S. adults suffer from arthritis – or what equates to about 25% of the population. To throw a few more numbers at you, according to the Arthritis Foundation, “[a 2010] British analysis of nearly 100 high-quality systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials found that manipulation was beneficial for acute and chronic low back pain, neck pain and knee osteoarthritis.” The consensus of many recent studies revealed that, when combined with exercise, stretching and an anti-inflammatory diet, chiropractic care leads to relief from pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
Chiropractic Care: Your Ticket to Arthritis Relief
Just as a chiropractor modifies his or her adjustments for children versus adults, so, too, with adjustments for those suffering through arthritis versus adjustments for athletes with lower back pain. Those suffering from lower back pain may require a more “forceful” spinal adjustment, while persons suffering from arthritis might receive gentle manipulation to soft tissues to stop muscle spasms and relieve any tenderness. Or, the chiropractor might walk the patient through active exercises to slowly stretch the joints and increase range of motion currently hindered by inflammation.
For patients suffering from arthritis, a chiropractor will likely focus on the following:
- Helping to improve range of motion
- Improving flexibility and endurance
- Providing massage therapy for tight muscles
- Increasing muscle tone and strength
- Providing diet and nutritional advice (including supplements to address inflammation)
Chiropractic care cannot cure arthritis, but it can treat symptoms and help to slow the progression of the disease. To provide the most effective pain relief, each patient at Van Ness Chiropractic receives care specific to his or her needs – and that includes care for arthritic joints.
Is Chiropractic Care Recommended for all Types of Arthritis?
As Scott Haldeman, MD, a neurologist in Santa Ana, California, explains, “If you have back or neck pain due to osteoarthritis, chiropractic is one of the safest therapies you can use.” However, someone suffering from an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis should be more careful.
For instance, anyone with active inflammation – e.g. from a flare up – should not receive an adjustment on the swollen joints, as doing so could cause more damage to the joint. However, treating the inflamed joint’s surrounding tissues with manual manipulation may significantly reduce overall pain. Dr. David Feschuk, a chiropractor in Stone Mountain, Georgia, gives this example:
“If someone is having a flare in a knee that is causing him to walk awkwardly, it may lead to a secondary pain syndrome in the lower back. I would not treat an inflamed joint, but if I adjust the pelvis I may be able to reduce overall pain by 4 to 5 units on the 1-to-10 pain scale and make daily living activities easier.”
During a patient’s first visit to Van Ness Chiropractic, Dr. Van Ness, Parkin or Sabri will take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam of every joint to determine what approaches are right for that person’s body. A complete evaluation is conducted, including a movement assessment and the taking of X-rays. This comprehensive approach ensures each patient at Van Ness Chiropractic receives the best care possible and that the right decisions were made throughout treatment.
How Quickly Can Patients See Results?
As stated earlier, chiropractic care cannot cure arthritis – any Doctor of Chiropractic claiming to do so is disreputable and should not be trusted with your care. However, most patients will see results within four to ten treatments. If that’s not the case, it may be time for a new treatment plan. To choose the best chiropractor for you, do your research. Choose a chiropractor whose mission and motives align with your own. Look for a chiropractor who uses a variety of techniques – there are more than 150 different techniques a chiropractor can use today, each designed to help you receive the best possible care.
Van Ness Chiropractic offers a variety of techniques, including Gonstead Spinal Adjustments, Myofascial Decompression, Functional Movement Screening and Massage Therapy. To learn more about a first visit at Van Ness Chiropractic, click here. Then, to get started on a treatment plan at Van Ness Chiropractic, call 847-842-8070.