According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) 37 million Americans suffer from physician-diagnosed arthritis. Approximately 1 in 7 or 13.60% individuals will suffer from arthritis this year, and this does not include those self-reported cases who do not seek medical treatment for a diagnosis. By the year 2020, this number is expected to reach 59 million. Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States often causing activity limitations due to arthritis. Annual hospitalizations due to arthritis number approximately 750,000, with 35 million outpatient visits, also due to arthritis. Complications from arthritis account for about 9,500 deaths annually. The estimated annual cost to the health care system is $128 billion.
Though most commonly affecting women and older adults, nearly two-thirds of those afflicted are under 65 years of age. With more than half of adults who have diabetes and heart disease also having arthritis, the concern is not only for the pain suffered by individuals. It is a societal problem that must be addressed more effectively to relieve the symptoms, and the financial costs.
Arthritis is a disease that causes the joints to swell, resulting in pain, stiffness, and loss of function, most commonly affecting the hands, knees, feet, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis, is a degenerative disorder of the joints. It occurs primarily as people age and the joints “wear out”; it sometimes occurs due to physical injuries that permanently damaged the joints. The NIAMS reports 20 million people suffer from OA.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another common form of arthritis, and it is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any joint, but is most common in the wrist and fingers. It can also affect more than joints alone—eyes, mouth, and lungs can also be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. The NIAMS concludes there may be 2.5 million people affected by RA. Women are more commonly affected than men and often appear between the ages of 25 and 55, but can last a lifetime. An autoimmune disorder indicates that a person’s immune system attacks its own body’s tissues. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as some other forms of arthritis, remains unknown. Those factors that might contribute include genetics, environmental factors, or dysfunction of the endocrine system.
Arthritis is most likely to appear in the following forms:
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
- Degenerative joint disease (DJD)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Juvenile arthritis
Chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation open up possibilities for maintaining an active lifestyle. It provides not only a resolution of chronic pain, but also the potential for addressing the disease with more flexible methods that focus on long-term health. For most of the twentieth century, many people believed that the diagnosis of arthritis necessarily came with the dreaded anticipation that normal activities would become a part of a previous life. With chiropractic and the benefits it provides, arthritis can become a manageable ailment that, along with exercise and a healthy diet, will no longer be feared.
Chiropractic as a regular treatment will help prevent arthritis from progressing, or at least its damaging effects. This form of prevention is probably the most crucial benefit in treating the disease. The lifestyle changes and therapies associated with chiropractic care will influence diet, exercise, and maintaining the body’s alignment. Proper weight and a healthy nervous system are both important factors in limiting the devastating effects of all forms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis keeping people active.
The basis for Chiropractic care is centered in the body’s ability to heal itself. By correcting joint and spine dislocations, a chiropractor helps increase range of motion in the body, which assists in movement. Chiropractic care, rehabilitative therapies, nutrition and lifestyle choices can all be implemented as a preventive measure in developing arthritis or to help relieve the serious mobility issues associated with the disease. Chiropractic for arthritis addresses the practical issue of getting the body to move more freely. Once the body is aligned to move with fewer restrictions due to arthritic build-up, the need for pain-relieving medications lessens, or disappears altogether.
Because Chiropractic focuses on physical manipulation, joints can be directly adjusted in order to reduce pain and stiffness. The use soft tissue therapy can also ease stiffness and encourage movement. The application of heat and cold presses has been shown to ease arthritic pain due to muscle spasm/swelling. The use of electrical stimulation is believed to stimulate pain-inhibiting chemicals in the human body, also known as endorphins, and block the nerve fibers that are responsible for pain. All these therapies will be used in simultaneously if necessary to make each visit efficient and effective.
Using chiropractic instead of prescription medicines for pain relief, or over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), can reduce the chances of experiencing harmful side effects from long-term use. Gastrointestinal disorders and ulcers are two common complaints from prolonged NSAIDs use. It offers a non-invasive method of maintaining physical health and addresses such conditions as arthritis in a way that will offer freedom of movement without the deteriorating effects that might come with medication.
With further questions regarding arthritis and other related issues please contact the office at 732-920-8188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.