Arthritis and Chiropractic Care
Arthritis means “inflammation of a joint”. People get arthritis for different reasons, such as an injury to a joint, chronic overuse, excessive weight, or physiologic causes like a faulty immune response in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis comes in many forms, and affects many people of varying ages. Between 2013–2015, the CDC reported an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) were diagnosed by a doctor each year with some form of arthritis. It can affect a wide range of ages, from young children (i.e. juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) to the elderly (i.e. osteoarthritis). While osteoarthritis is by far the most widely known and diagnosed form of arthritis, other types include rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and gout.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
- Hot or swollen joints
- Pain or aching in joint(s)
- Stiffness in joint(s)
- Decreased range of motion
Ways to Prevent or Prolong the Onset of Arthritis
- Keep active – whether it’s walking, pilates, playing tennis, or weightlifting at the gym, do something active that you enjoy and can do on a regular basis
- Maintain a healthy weight – excess weight puts extra stress and strain on your joints, especially the knees and the hips
- Make sure you are getting adequate nutrition, especially calcium and vitamin D
- Get regular chiropractic adjustments – this will help keep your joints mobile and help reduce pain and inflammation
Management Options for Arthritis
- Medications prescribed by your doctor
- Weight loss
- Specific exercise regimes
- Physical therapy
- Surgery for some severe cases
- Most importantly – get adjusted!
What can chiropractic do for my arthritis?
The Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique is used by many chiropractors, and is a successful and safe way of managing any form of arthritis. There is an initial exam process, then the adjustments themselves are gentle and effective in removing misalignments (or subluxations) in your spine and extremities. Misalignments of the bones in your body cause the joints to get “stuck” and not move properly; by removing the misalignments, regular adjustments help keep your joints mobile and therefore reduce the progression of the arthritis process.
The force of each adjustment from the Activator instrument is controlled and reliable, so each adjustment has the same amount of force every time. There are four different levels of the Activator as well – what level of the body the chiropractor is working on depends on what setting the instrument is set on. Higher settings are used on larger parts of the body, where the bones are bigger and there are more muscles and tissues for the force to travel through. The ability to change the settings allows the chiropractor to better control the amount of force put out by the Activator instrument depending on the size, age, and pain tolerance of the patient as well as the region of the body.
At McClintock Chiropractic, Dr. Emma McClintock is Advanced Proficiency Rated in the Activator Methods Technique. If you have any questions or wonder if chiropractic care can help you, call our office at 231-726-6355.