A very common diagnosis for patients with back or neck pain is arthritis. Specifically this is osteoarthritis. There is also rheumatoid arthritis that is an auto-immune disease that tends to mainly be seen in the fingers, wrists, feet and ankles. The picture below is osteoarthritis and that will be the type of arthritis we will talk about today.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a degenerative change to the joints that can be caused by a trauma or wear and tear. Of course chiropractors like to add onto this wear and tear…without repair. Arthritis only forms in the joints, not in the long bones. The result is a thinner joint space, the cartilage is not as smooth, and the bone develops spurring. Some arthritic changes are expected as we age, but they can be slowed down with maintenance and repair. The best way to repair the injuries and damage to the spinal joints is chiropractic care.
How Does Arthritis Develop?
The spinal joints can be damaged by a trauma, like a fall or accident, or repetitive motions like texting, computer work, bleacher sitting, driving, and even sleeping. Ever wake up with a stiff neck? That isn’t necessarily arthritis. It is a fixation/subluxation of the joints in your neck that is causing pressure on the nerves, muscle tightness and limited range of motion of the bones in your spine. Check out the “How Does Chiropractic Work” blog for more on that topic.
What Can You do to Help?
When the joint is damaged it has a protective mechanisms of inflammation and stabilization that results in developing arthritis. Typically arthritis takes a while to form, as in years. If you have back or neck pain after a fall or really intense texting or computer session, getting adjusted by a chiropractor will remove the subluxation, decrease the muscle spasm/tightness and help the joint heal correctly.
You only get one spine, show it a little love with a 20 minute adjustment!