WHAT IS DEGENERATION AND ARTHRITIS?
This condition takes many forms, but the main causes are either past trauma, joint instability or hereditary factor. When there is past trauma to a joint, regardless of if the bone was fractured, damages the structures surrounding the bone as well. Wolf’s Law then comes into play, because the bone will “lay down bone according to the stresses placed upon it.” This means a joint will try and “fix itself” by adding more surface area of tendon and ligament attachments in order to stabilize the injured area. This whole process takes time, which is why an injury when your 12 can surface later in life. Hereditary reasons for arthritis are just that. They can start at any point, but normally flare after known reasons (i.e. excessive alcohol consumption, too much sugar, etc).
- RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
- PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS
When it comes to diagnosis, the best way is with an X-ray. Although decreased range of motion and previous injury can be a sign of OA, the severity of it can only be determined by film.
NECK DEGENERATION / ARTHRITIS
Although degeneration & arthritis can happen throughout the body, this ailment in the mid back can lead to unique symptoms such as intercostal neuritis & disc related problems (i.e. Radiculopathy). Additionally, scar tissue and trigger points can go hand and hand with joint problems, because of the decreased flexibility and use of the joint itself.
This is a condition that is caused by the Wearing Down of the cartilage between joints. Some of the major joints that are affected are the knees, hips, back, neck, and hands/wrist. Osteoarthritis can be painful and can cause the affected areas to not function properly and is compounding in nature. For instance, if you have arthritis in your left knee, you may compensate for this by putting more pressure on your right side, leading to right hip problems. Furthermore, the body will naturally try to Stabilize the decreased stability in the joint by laying down bone, which then can lead to even more complications.
NECK DEGENERATION / ARTHRITIS
Although degenerative changes can occur in any joint, neck arthritis can lead to unique symptoms such as disc related problems (e.g. radiculopathy). This occurs because there is a narrowing of the intervertebral foramen (i.e. IVF), which is where the spinal nerves exit the spinal cord. A secondary symptom of neck arthritis is Trigger Points and a buildup of muscle Scar Tissue. Both of these ailments can be very annoying and often times linger for years and years if left untreated.
Pain killers can cause temporary relief from pain and discomfort, but it is not a long-term solution. Chiropractic Adjustments can alleviate pain by releasing pressure on the nervous system with proper alignment. It can also restore proper joint movement, helping to ensure that you use proper motion, so that you do not cause injury to other parts of your body. It is important to treat the body as a whole and not get too focused on just one symptom as well. As mentioned earlier, secondary symptoms are often the case with this condition. Nutrition can play a huge part in counteracting the inflammatory nature of this ailment. Please ask us about Natural Anti-Inflammatories that pose no harm with long-term use.
2) RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
This Chronic inflammatory disorder can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition also can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. An Autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues. Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
At a minimum, a physical or occupational therapist consult is necessary so they can teach you how to exercises and keep your joints flexible. As far as pain control, Therapeutic Ultrasound and high-frequency vibration tools such as Rapid Release are just a few of the therapies offered to help with this. Nutrition can play a huge part to counteract the inflammatory nature of this disease. Please ask us about natural anti-Inflammatories that pose no harm with long-term use.
3) PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease in which the immune system attacks the body, causing inflammation and pain. PsA affects the joints, causing arthritis; the connective tissue where tendons or ligaments attach to bones, causing Enthesitis; and the skin, causing Psoriasis. It is also a skin disease that causes a red, scaly rash, most commonly over the elbows, knees, ankles, feet, hands, and other areas. It’s important to properly be screened for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), which affects the spinal column and may cause inflammation and stiffness in the neck, lower back, spinal vertebrae, or sacroiliac region (pelvic area), making motion difficult. Spondylitis also can attack connective tissue, such as ligaments, or cause arthritic disease in the joints of the arms, hips, legs, or feet.
Many of the therapies used at the office can decrease the muscle pain and inflammation associated with flare-ups. Routine chiropractic adjustments can also assist in reducing degenerative joint changes.
Fibromyalgia is considered a Central Pain Syndrome. This means that the brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently. A touch or movement that doesn’t cause pain for others may feel painful to you (this is called allodynia). Something that is mildly painful to someone without fibromyalgia may hurt you even more (this is called Hyperalgesia). Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain. It may come and go or be constant. Besides pain, fibromyalgia is associated with other symptoms, such as fatigue, sleep problems, inability to concentrate and mood troubles.
Chiropractic care can be very effective in treating the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia due to the muscular-skeletal nature of this disease. It’s important to co-treat with an Arthritis Physician as balancing medication can be the key to proper management.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis, but it does not cause body-wide inflammation like RA or PsA does. In gout, Uric Acid Crystals are the problem. If your body produces too much uric acid or if you are unable to remove the excess fast enough, it can build up in the blood (called Hyperuricemia). Excess uric acid can form crystals in your joints. This results in extremely painful joint inflammation. Gout usually strikes in the large joint of the big toe, but can also affect other joints. With a gout flare, you can go to bed feeling fine and wake up with excruciating pain.
Nutrition and medication is the main treatment as the uric acid needs to be flushed to get rid of the joint pain. Electric stimulation can also be used to help pump the crystals out of the affected joints. If using a home unit, make sure that the unit also has EMS and not just TENS. This is due to TENS only modulating pain receptors and does not help move fluid like an EMS does.