Osteoarthritis is a scary word to most people – it is one of those conditions that most of us think we will never have to deal with. However, in my San Diego Chiropractic clinic, I see people every day who suffer from the effects of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a Pain!
Besides the fact that arthritis slows you down and limits your physical abilities, it also causes pain. Neck pain, back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain and even headaches (secondary to neck pain) are common complaints from people with arthritis.
Most of the patients that we provide chiropractic treatment for are suffering from a type of arthritis know as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis and wear & tear arthritis. The term osteoarthritis describes a type of arthritis that occurs because of a wearing down of the joint. Other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid are due to a more aggressive auto immune response that destroys the joints much faster than osteoarthritis.
In some cases, osteoarthritis is the result of some injury to the joint that resulted in unnatural or awkward movements of that joint. In the medical community we refer to these abnormal movements as “biomechanical abnormalities” In many cases, a joint has to be exposed to biomechanical abnormalities for years before the joint becomes laden with arthritis.
In my chiropractic office, we treat many patients for automobile accidents. I always tell these patients that I am not trying to minimize the pain that they are currently suffering from, but that the most important part of their treatment is to help restore normal biomechanics of the spine. This is because eliminating the pain associated with car accident injuries is important but the initial pain that comes with a car accident injury is only a fraction of the long-term discomfort that comes with biomechanical stress.
Of course I am referring to a process that involves whiplash of a joint leading to scar tissue formation causing abnormal biomechanics that results in arthritic joints.
Chiropractors provide effective treatment for the pain of osteoarthritis but there is no treatment that actually cures the arthritis itself. That is why it is so important to get treatment for neck pain or back pain early, before it becomes an incurable disorder like arthritis.