In Part 1 of our Series on How to Take Charge of Your Arthritis, we discuss how Arthritis in the spine and other joints of the body is caused. This series is an overview of a presentation by Victoria Chiropractor Dr. Mark Smith to a local seniors arthritis group on what you can do to gain control of your arthritis and get well! Dr. Mark would be happy to come and speak about arthritis care to your seniors group, health group, or other group, please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a time!
Arthritis- How it happens:
The cold weather during this time of the year seems to bear out many people’s health problems, including arthritis. Compare it to how some cars don’t seem to start or run as well during the cold months- if that sounds like you or someone you care about, chiropractic care and the tips in the following article series may be a great option!
Degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) is often caused by injuries, repetitive stress, and bad posture over a period of time which create misalignments in joints- like shoulders, hips, and wrists- but especially in the joints of the spine!
Over time the muscles around the misaligned joint contract, decreasing movement and often creating pain due to muscle spasm. Eventually ligaments begin to shrink and form scar tissue across the joint
The misaligned joint often leads to uneven wear and tear of the joint surfaces
In response the body deposits calcium in areas of high physical stress creating ‘spurs’ known as ‘osteophytes’
Decreased movement in the joint decreases fluid flow to and from the joint, creating a dehydrated joint- especially in the spine where intervertebral discs can lose fluid and begin to shrink- creating pressure on surrounding nerves
At the same time, the body starts decreasing the amount of cartilage it makes to replace old cartilage after age 40. This means that eventually the cartilage in the joint that is being damaged isn’t being replaced fast enough to heal completely.
With video motion xray of the spine, Dr. Mark is able to identify and show patients where arthritis is. He is then able to work on the affected areas with confidence.
Dr. Mark is often able to help patients with arthritis through chiropractic care by identifying exactly where the arthritis is and using specific chiropractic adjusting techniques to restore as much motion and realignment to the affected areas as possible. This can often decrease muscle spasm, increase fluid flow in and out of joints, and relieve pressure and irritation from surrounding nerves, allowing the body to function better.
Join us in our next article for the first tip Dr. Mark has for taking charge of your arthritis including how chiropractic can help!