Chiropractic: A Safe and Effective Treatment of Arthritis
September is Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joints is worn down as a result of wear and tear, injury or misuse.
The Facts About Arthritis
- Arthritis is a category of disease that includes more than 100 types, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, lupus, fibromyalgia, gout and scleroderma.
- Arthritis is not just a disease of the elderly. It can strike anyone at anytime, regardless of age, health and ethnic background. In 2000, three of every five people with arthritis were younger than 65.
- Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in Canada.
- Each year, approximately 100,000 Canadians are diagnosed with arthritis. The average age of onset is between 41 and 50. About one in six Canadians aged 15 and older has some form of the disease and two thirds of those affected are women.
- The most common type of arthritis in Canada is Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease, affecting one in 10 Canadians.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the second most common type of arthritis, affecting one in 100 Canadians. Anyone can get RA at any age, but it most often appears between the ages of 25 and 50.
- Arthritis affects nearly twice as many Canadian women as men.
- Arthritis costs Canadians more than $4 billion each year in health-care expenses and lost productivity.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common kind of arthritis. It occurs when cartilage (the tough elastic material that covers and protects the ends of the bones) begins to wear away. Cartilage is an essential part of the joint; not only does it act as a shock absorber; it also enables the joint to move smoothly. With Osteoarthritis the cartilage erodes, eventually resulting in pain, stiffness, swelling and bone-on-bone movement in the affected joint.
Osteoarthritis and the Spine
In the spine, Osteoarthritis can cause stiffness in the neck and lower back. Cervical arthritis (also called cervical spondylosis) affects the upper spine and neck. Lumbar or lumbosacral arthritis affects the lower back and pelvic area.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis and an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one where the body’s immune system becomes confused and begins to “attack” the body.
With RA, the target of the immune attack is tissue in the lining of the healthy joints, resulting in damage to cartilage; bone; tendons; ligaments; and sometimes, in other internal organs (such as the eyes, lungs or heart). This causes swelling, pain, inflammation and joint destruction. RA usually begins slowly, starting in a few joints and then spreading to other joints over a few weeks to a few months. As time goes on, RA involves more and more joints on both sides of the body, often in a “symmetrical” pattern.
Chiropractic Care Helps Manage the Symptoms of Arthritis
Chiropractic care has been proven effective in treating arthritis and its symptoms, both in genetic and non-genetic related forms of arthritis.
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, the need for pain medications lessens or disappears altogether.
Chiropractic care as a regular treatment helps prevent arthritis, or at least its damaging effects. Dr. Noble and Dr. Fera believe this form of prevention is crucial in treating the disease.
The lifestyle changes and therapies associated with chiropractic care will influence diet and exercise; maintaining the body’s alignment will offset health problems that might accompany arthritis. Proper weight and a healthy immune system are both important factors in limiting the devastating effects of all forms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Living with Arthritis
Coping with the symptoms of arthritis on a daily basis can be difficult. At Ajax-Pickering Village Chiropractic, Dr.Noble and Dr. Fera encourage patients to be informed and involved in their treatment and actively participate in healthy lifestyle choices.
To learn more about arthritis, visit www.arthritis.ca. To learn how chiropractic care can enhance your life and manage your symptoms, call Ajax-Pickering Village Chiropractic at 905-427-3202 to book a consultation.