Arthritis is a condition that results in pain and inflammation in the joints. Most people develop it at some point in their life, but it impacts even younger people. Once it sets in, those who suffer from arthritis find their ability to comfortably work and engage in physical activities diminishes, they are subject to other health conditions, and generally tend to lead a more sedentary live. Finding a way to get relief is a job for both primary care and chiropractic medicine.
Types Of Arthritis
Arthritis can take two basic forms: osteoarthritis that comes with age, or rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that results in painful, swollen joints. The primary care approach to either problem is through medication, often coupled with exercise which can be different for each type. Because osteoarthritis is a musculoskeletal disease, it is a good candidate for a chiropractic approach to pain relief. For rheumatoid arthritis, many physicians advise against seeing chiropractors when inflammation is present, as treatment could aggravate the condition.
In addition to these two basic forms, arthritis can also play a part in fibromyalgia, gout, juvenile arthritis, degenerative joint disease (DJD), and lupus.
Using Chiropractic And Primary Care For Osteoarthritis
Since osteoarthritis involves pain, swelling, and information, over-the-counter or prescription NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercise, using pain creams, or applying heat and cold packs can make the condition more manageable. Chiropractic practice complements these techniques, especially once inflammation is under control.
Chiropractic uses the basic techniques of manual manipulation, instrument adjustments, and drop table adjustments to help restore mobility in joints. Emphasizing a healthy lifestyle, including weight control, proper nutrition, massage, and exercise, along with manipulations that help the lower back and other areas of the body, chiropractic helps the body move more freely. Once pain decreases, the need for medication will lessen or disappear and many patients are able to regain an active lifestyle.
Other Chiropractic Approaches
Modern chiropractic goes far beyond these time-tested approaches to incorporate other techniques that might be helpful:
- Ultrasound therapy that applies sound waves to soft tissues and joints to create a massaging effect that can decrease pain and stiffness while reducing swelling.
- Low level laser therapy or cold laser uses a light that penetrates deep in the tissue, or a laser that produces no heat to penetrate into the tissue and reduce inflammation.
- Trigger point therapy applies pressure to a specific area of muscle to alleviate pain there.
- Therapeutic exercises and stretches designed for those with arthritis can help increase strength and endurance.
These techniques are particularly effective sincearthritis affects joints, the very place where chiropractic is most effective.When you receive chiropractic treatments in a setting that includes primary care, you will get state-of-the-art recommendations from dual perspectives, and if necessary, suggestions or prescriptions for medications that can help you get the most benefits from your treatment.
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