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Many people are labelled with having Arthritis and assume ‘thats it’, 'I’ll have to live with it’ 'I’ll always be in pain’ ………..but do you? There is a misconception around arthritis that it is a disease of ‘old age’ but with the age of people being told they have arthritis getting younger and younger there is more to it than meets the eye.

What is arthritis? 

Arthritis (‘arth’ meaning joint, ‘itis’ meaning inflammation) is a broad term that covers a group of conditions that all similarly cause joint damage. With more than 100 different types of arthritis and almost as many different causes, it would be a lot to describe them all. Instead, we will concentrate on two of the most common, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To understand these different types of arthritis and how they affect you, we first need to understand how a healthy joint functions. There are many different types of joints in the human body, however they all share a common basic structure.

All your joints consist of two bones coming together with both ends covered by a smooth lining called cartilage. In a healthy joint, the cartilage cushions the bone and allows your joints to move smoothly and easily. Your joints also contain synovial fluid within it, to help reduce friction and wear. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage begins to get damaged and wear away, exposing the bone surfaces which rub together and cause more damage. The stressed bone surfaces may then start forming abnormal growths, known as bone spurs, which can cause irritation and swelling, leading to further damage and restriction. As this process continues your joints become harder to move and reduces your joints range of motion. When other health professionals look at X-rays they may well say your spine looks normal (in other words there is nothing that surgery would need to fix) but do these X-rays look normal to you?

What does arthritis feel like?

The common complaints from someone affected with arthritis include: joint pain, stiffness, tenderness and aching and weakness. In the later phases complaints become more pronounced with the inability to carry out simple daily activities such a string your shoes without making those 'old man noises'. The effects on your life can range from mild to severe. For many, simple tasks like checking your blind spot, hanging up the washing or even just pouring a glass of water can be difficult, especially while in an acute episode.

Depending on the type of arthritis, the pain can be isolated to one joint or multiple joints, small and large, from fingers to shoulders including spinal regions.

Often lower back pain, hip pain and neck pain are the most common symptoms people seek chiropractic care for arthritic pain relief. Arthritis is often considered a progressive, crippling and debilitating disease process. Teffects on your life can range from mild to severe. For many, simple tasks like checking your blind spot, hanging up the washing or even just pouring a glass of water can be difficult, especially while in an acute episode.

How can we at Complete Health and Chiropractic help?

The technique used by our Chiropractors called ABC™ can improve your joint function through improving your posture. Your posture and spinal position is vital to the correct functioning of the joints and in the prevention of joint degenration. To find out more about ABC™ CLICK HERE. Combined with exercises and often nutritional advice, ABC™ Chiropractic care can help to reduce the pain of arthritis and ultimately improve your quality of life through the adjustment of your posture.

One of the best analogies to explain how we can help with arthritis is to think of your joint as a hinge on a door. Imagine the hinge joint is a little rusty (which is the arthritis) and hence the door squeaks and doesn’t move how it should. Over time the rust increases and the hinge joint condition continues to deteriorate. A chiropractor’s job is not to remove the rust (the arthritis) but add oil to the hinge joint. It’s the oil (or chiropractic care) that makes the door move better, no longer squeak, and as a result, may reduce the rate the hinge door rusts (wears) in the future.
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