Arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint. There are many types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is largely due to the natural ageing process.
Due to this most people are likely to get some degeneration, or ‘wear and tear’, later in their lives. Others, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are less common but can affect children as well as adults.
Osteoarthritis is caused when the cartilage covering the bones in a joint becomes eroded and roughened. Tendons and ligaments holding the joint together get weaker and the joint itself may become deformed, painful and stiff. Joints which have been injured or subject to unusual stress, perhaps as the result of a sporting career or heavy manual job, are likely to wear faster.
Chiropractic management and treatment may help reduce the symptoms of arthritic pain. After taking a full case history and conducting an examination which may include X-rays, your chiropractor will make a diagnosis and propose a treatment programme. While chiropractic treatment can often help ease some of the painful symptoms of many forms of arthritis, for some you may be referred to your GP for further treatment.
Degenerative changes in themselves need not produce symptoms. They do, however, make the spinal column more susceptible to damage. Treatment by a chiropractor, together with an appropriate rehabilitation and maintenance plan, can improve movement and reduce the stresses that may cause pain in the future.