17 Jan Osteoarthritis and Chiropractic Care: Protecting Your Joint Health
According to the CDC, more than 32 million Americans have osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis.
So, it’s no surprise that we help a lot of patients with osteoarthritis at Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic. Although OA can’t be cured, you can do a lot to minimize symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Your joints have a layer of cartilage that provides a cushion for the ends of your bones. In osteoarthritis (“osteo” means “bone”), this protection is wearing down. The cartilage deterioration causes damage to the bones and inflammation in nearby tissues.
Most people with OA are over age 50, but the disease begins to develop silently years earlier. OA may also show up in younger people, usually due to an injury to the joint.
The condition tends to get progressively worse, causing people to have pain and stiffness in their joints, most commonly the knees, spine, hands, and hips.
Factors that May Put You at Risk
Osteoarthritis develops for a variety of reasons, which include:
- Heredity—OA can run in families
- Age—your risk goes up the older you get
- Diseases, such as diabetes, that can damage joints
- Gender—females have a higher risk
- Injuries and repetitive stress on joints
- Birth defects of the joints or cartilage
- Being overweight
Symptoms of OA
People develop symptoms in their joints gradually, such as:
- Pain, aching or tenderness
- Limited range of motion
- Clicking or crackling sounds when bending a joint
- Weakness or instability
- Bone spurs, especially on finger joints
Help for Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Consult your healthcare providers, including your chiropractor, about beneficial treatments and lifestyle changes.
Practicing healthy habits can help to relieve symptoms and reduce or eliminate your need for medication.
Keep moving. Stay physically active to preserve mobility and reduce inflammation. Aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week. Include strengthening, stretching, aerobic and balance exercises. Make sure to warm up before and cool down after you exercise.
Achieve a healthy weight to reduce pain, inflammation, and damage to joints.
Eat a healthy diet. Avoid excess sugar and processed foods. These raise blood sugar, which stiffens cartilage and increases inflammation.
Reduce stress that causes muscle tension by getting enough sleep and finding ways to relax, such as meditation.
Chiropractic Treatments for Better Joint Health
Chiropractic care provides a variety of therapies and exercises that improve the overall function of your muscles and joints, enhancing the communication between your spine and nervous system.
If an arthritic joint is too inflamed for direct treatment, your chiropractor can treat the surrounding area, helping to reduce pain and improve mobility.
People with OA sometimes have weaker muscles and balance problems, increasing their risk of falling. Chiropractic care may help you avoid medications that can cause side effects, like dizziness, that lead to falls.
Making use of all the tools your chiropractor has to offer will help you to live your most pain-free and active life.
Schedule Your Free Consultation at Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic
We’re here to support you in living a healthy life with OA. Call our Broken Arrow office at 918-940-4630 today.