What is arthritis?
Literally it means joint inflammation and there can be many different types. The most common is osteoarthritis this is where the joint is degenerating, or showing signs of wear and tear.
Our body is like a piece of machinery. Every one of the joints in the spine should move like a well oiled machine allowing messages to come from the brain down the spinal chord and out of the spinal nerves into the rest of the body. However we sit and stand for long periods of time.
Many people spend hours on computers or sit at work and when they get home, tired after a long day they relax on the sofa.
This more sedentary lifestyle means our joints get stiff and like any piece of machinery we start to rust, or wear. This is when arthritis begins. Treating the joint with a chiropractic adjustment gets it moving providing lubrication or oil and just like a machine the body moves more easily.
All things come in stages
Wear and tear comes in 4 clear stages, each one is treatable but it would be better to be treated when ʻnormalʼ or ʻphase 1ʼ rather than wait until ʻphase 3ʼ.
Side image of 2 spinal vertebra (back bone) with the shock absorber disc between. There are 24 of these in the spine.
This is usually felt as a reduced range of motion. The disc or shock absorber in the spine loses water shrinking in height, leaving less room for the nerve.
The joint is practically fused together, reducing function. This can lead to problems with the spine and within the body, as the organs and tissues these nerves control are affected.
The body grows bone spurs, trying to fuse and stabilise the two joints. The nerve is thinning and becoming damaged.
How can Chiropractic help?
Arthritis can affect any joint, in many people this can cause extreme pain. However arthritis itself does not have to be painful, even if it deforms the joint. So what causes this pain? All of the nerves in the body come out from the spine, if this is not functioning correctly the messages being sent by the nerves as they exit the spine become compromised.
Chiropractic restores the function of the spine which in turn improves the health and function of the nervous system. Once the spine is moving correctly and the muscles are strengthened with core exercises, we find that the pain from the arthritis often goes away.