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How can Chiropractic care help with joint pain?

October 10th, 2021 by
Category: Dr. Ashleigh O'Brien

female athlete sitting on ground clutching knee

What causes joint pain?

Joint pain is a common complaint that refers to discomfort, aches or soreness in any of the joints in the body. Most commonly, joint pain refers to arthritis, which is inflammation or pain arising from within the joint. Joint pain can range in severity from mild, causing discomfort or soreness only after certain activities, to more severe which makes limited movements or even weight bearing extremely painful. Causes of joint pain include: 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and the main cause of joint pain. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage at the ends of the bones wears down over time. This can happen in any joint but the most common areas include the fingers, thumbs, neck, lower back, hips, knees and big toes. Like joint pain, Osteoarthritis can range in severity from mild to severe. Common symptoms of Osteoarthritis include inflammation of the joint, pain and stiffness in the joint – especially with activity, joint swelling, reduced range of movement and muscle weakness. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints causing inflammation and joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis will usually affect the smaller joints of the body, such as the hands, feet and wrists, although larger joints including the knees and hips can also be affected. Common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis include a throbbing or aching kind of pain usually worse in the mornings or after sitting for a while, joint stiffness especially in the mornings, inflammation causing the joints to swell, become hot and tender to touch.

Injury/trauma

This is caused by the wearing out of a joint after any kind of physical injury. The injury could be from sport, a car accident, a fall or any other source of physical trauma. These injuries can cause damage to the cartilage and/or the bone, changing the mechanics of that joint and causing it to wear out quicker. The process of the joint wearing out can then be accelerated by further injury. Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, joint stiffness and limited range of motion. 

Can Chiropractic help with joint pain?

Chiropractic works to optimise the function of your joints, therefore making it possible to improve your motion with less pain. Chiropractic adjustments aim to realign the spine and improve the function of the nervous system in order to:

Reduce nerve pressure

If the spine is misaligned it can put pressure on the nerves causing pain, tingling or burning sensations. A Chiropractic adjustment aims to realign the spine in order to remove the pressure from the nerves so that they are no longer being irritated and therefore decreasing the pain felt by the patient. 

Improve joint mobility

Mobility within the joints is essential when dealing with joint stiffness and pain. The adjustments performed by a Chiropractor may help to regain mobility of the joints and optimize function within the body. As you progress through your treatment, you may notice that you have more ease of mobility. The Chiropractor may also teach you new posture exercises so that you are able to keep your spine in better alignment at home in between adjustments. 

If you are experiencing joint pain, consider seeing your local Chiropractor or health care professional and discuss the issue with them so that they are able to point you in the right direction. It is important that you explain your symptoms to the Chiropractor so that they are able to take a thorough history and complete a physical exam including postural photos and an assessment of the nervous system. They will then be able to tailor the treatment to your condition in order for you to get the best results.  

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