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Osteoarthritis: Who can help Me?

Osteoarthritis: Who can help Me?


Are you confused about osteo-arthritis and what it actually is?

Are you unsure if Chiropractic can help and if so, how and to what extent?

Are you unsure if in fact you have Osteo-arthritis?

Hi, my name is Andrew Arnold, Chiropractor and in this article, I would like to explode a few myths, hope that’s OK?

Arthritis refers to inflammation of joints, i.e. …itis = inflammation. Osteo-arthritis rarely involves inflammation, in fact this usually only occurs in about 10% of cases, so for the main part this is a mis-representation.

Joint conditions fall into 2 categories: Inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Collectively they are known as ‘Arthritides’. Inflammatory arthritides overlap with another group of conditions called ‘auto-immune’. These include Rheumatoid, Psoriatic, Juvenile arthritis’s and other conditions such as Lupus or S.L.E. Non-inflammatory is the 90% of Osteo-arthritic conditions, excluding the 10% that can become inflamed. Hope that clears that up.

It is impossible to accurately diagnose Osteo-arthritic degeneration without investigation, i.e. plain film x-ray and/or C.T. scan. In our practice I recommend every patient has a full spine x-ray with obvious exceptions like pregnancy, age or cancer etc.

Chiropractic manual manipulation or self-manipulation causes osteo-arthritic degeneration. The manipulation itself does not directly cause arthritic change however, if a joint is poorly manipulated or over-manipulated this may indirectly lead to arthritic change due to increased laxity of the ligaments and other tissues supporting the joint.

Related: Neck and Low Back Pain… What the Connection?

Chiropractic can help osteo-arthritic change. Absolutely. Correctly timed, and performed manipulations can reduce biomechanical load to the spine and extremity joints reducing the acceleration of change. In our practice we recommend combining this with professional exercise advice, posture aids, nutrition and supplement advice and sometimes, spine-pelvic foot stabilizers.

Osteo-arthritis effects old age only. Wrong. Any abnormal biomechanic load bearing will eventually cause change, so we may see this in a young adult for example, and not in a older person.

My GP can help? Musculo-skeletal medicine is not a primary focus of the GP as far as training goes. Your Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Osteopath are the best practitioners to consult.

My spine is too far gone, there’s nothing we can do! Wrong, there is always something you can do. It’s all about quality of life. I strongly recommend you talk to your Chiropractor and find out your options.


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