Over 50% of Americans over 60 will suffer from arthritis. There are many varieties of the disease, but the most common is ‘osteoarthritis,’ which is a defined as a progressive deterioration of the cartilage in synovial joints. As arthritis progresses, there is simply less cushion between joints as they move. The mobility of the affected joint decreases and becomes ‘stiffer.’ As a result, it is more prone to injuries and, when injured, takes longer to heal.
The ‘wearing out’ of a joint physically looks like the cushiony disc between vertebrae getting thinner. Eventually ‘bone spurs’ or osteophytes will grow on bone that is no longer properly cushioned. These spurs create pressure on the spine causing an increased chance of irritation to those nerves.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis range from mild stiffness, to limited mobility, to chronic pain. (We hope you seek treatment before you are in pain!) ‘Stiffness’ may not sound terrible, but if you are experiencing stiffness in your neck, you may be unable to turn your head to safely back up a car. If you knees are stiff, you may limit exercise, and that will negatively impact your wellness. If you are experiencing stiffness due to arthritis, we want to begin treatment BEFORE you are in pain.
Arthritis, once formed, will not go away. However, proper chiropractic care can make it more functional and comfortable, and prevent its further progression. Dr. Gibson often explains treatment by saying, ‘Arthritis is a one way street...once you’re on that street, you’re on it, but we can control how fast you go down it.’
Through regular adjustments, we re-align your joints so that stress and weight are no longer imbalanced. Joints that are misaligned wear out faster than properly aligned joints, much like tires on your car wear out faster when wheels are misaligned. You will experience a fuller range of motion, less stiffness, and pain should decrease!