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Can Chiropractic care help with Osteoarthritis?

September 29th, 2021 by
Category: Arthritis Chiropractic Care Dr. Cecily Hendrickson

Image of male clutching knee in pain

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in Australia. It is a degenerative condition that affects our joints. It is the gradual wearing down of the tissues that make up a joint and can lead to (but isn’t limited to) stiffness, inflammation and consequently, pain. 

What makes up a joint?

Our joints are made up of bone, cartilage, muscles and ligaments – all of these structures can be affected by Osteoarthritis. To best understand the effect of this condition, it is important to understand the purpose of these structures:

Bones

Bones makes up the skeleton. They work to support your body, protect your organs and the tissues within the body, produce blood cells as well as store calcium and fat.  

Cartilage

The purpose of cartilage is to minimise friction within a joint between bones by acting as a cushion. Cartilage also helps to absorb shock/impact on the body.  

Ligaments

Ligaments hold our bones together for stability

Muscles

Muscles are responsible for nearly all movements in the body and of the body. In relation to the joints, skeletal muscles are muscles that attach to bones to move the skeleton and joints within the body. 

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Generally speaking, the most common symptoms caused by Osteoarthritis are:

How does Osteoarthritis occur?

The process of Osteoarthritis occurring can be best understood as ‘wear and tear’ of the joint and its structures. While age is the most well-known contributor, there are other factors that play a big part in the gradual wearing down of a joint. Of course, there are factors outside of our control such as age (as mentioned before), however there are other factors that can influence wear and tear, including:

  • Injury to a joint 
  • Overuse of a joint
  • Excessive pressure over an extended period of time 

The above factors can all lead to the joints working overtime in an attempt to self-repair, which can lead to further deterioration.

What areas of the body can be affected by Osteoarthritis?

Every joint in the body can be affected by Osteoarthritis. More commonly affected are areas under the most pressure or those that are used repetitively, A LOT. 

Top tips that may help prevent Osteoarthritis

Our top tips to help prevent Osteoarthritis include:

1. Exercise

Exercising regularly to assist in reducing stiffness in the body and improving muscle strength. Be sure to change it up often to work on other areas and prevent overuse and remember to warm up and cool down to avoid injury. 

2. Listen to your body

If you are in pain, starting to feel stiff or think you may be overdoing it, seek assistance and professional advice! 

3. Be proactive with your health

Symptoms are usually the last thing to develop and usually there are issues building up in the body that need to be addressed. Don’t wait for pain to tell you something’s wrong, get regular checkups with your local Chiropractor or other trusted health practitioner.

How can Chiropractors help with Osteoarthritis?

Chiropractors work to restore optimal range of movement of joints and segments in the spine. In doing so, they relieve pressure that has been building up, contributing to the overload of these areas and thus contributing to the wear down of joints. 

Other ways a Chiropractor may assist you include: 

  • Improving your posture to help with balance, weight distribution and relieving pressure 
  • Improving communication between the brain and body 
  • Help the brain form new pathways and adapt more adequately

 

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