Chiropractic Treatment of Osteoarthritis

by drcase on May 3, 2010

Chiropractic care can have a positive impact on osteoarthritis.  Because one of the contributing causes of osteoarthritis is abnormal wear and tear on a malfunctioning joint, chiropractic care can actually help treat a contributing cause of osteoarthritis.  Chiropractic care involves chiropractic manipulative therapy, also called a chiropractic adjustment, along with therapies such as ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, and laser therapy.  Chiropractors also recommend stretches and exercises for their patients, and they advise on ways to protect your back.

There are numerous ways that chiropractic can help osteoarthritis.  The most important way is it restores normal joint alignment.  By aligning the joint and enabling it to move properly, chiropractic care can reduce further wear and tear and slow down the degenerative process.  In addition, chiropractic care relieves pain and inflammation in the joints, which goes a long way to reducing the pain in osteoarthritis patients.  Chiropractic manipulative therapy also increases the mobility of the joint which can help improve joint stiffness and lack of motion. 

Therapies that chiropractors utilize help in junction with the adjustment to reduce pain and inflammation.  Ultrasound therapy sends sound waves deep into the tissues and joints and helps to reduce inflammation.  Electric muscle stimulation sends electrical impulses into the muscles to reduce pain and muscle tightness.  Both therapies work well, but the best therapy that I have found so far for the treatment of osteoarthritis is cold laser therapy.  Cold laser therapy goes to the cellular level and promotes healing at that level.  Some of its effects include accelerated cell growth and reproduction, accelerated collagen synthesis, increased cellular metabolic activity, anti-inflammatory action, increased vascular activity, and stimulated nerve function.   Most of these effects can help to reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis. 

Proper body mechanics can help relieve stress on arthritis joints.  Good posture is a key to proper body mechanics.  Whether standing or sitting, your ears should be over your shoulders which should be over your hips.  Poor posture leads to extra stress on joints that can accelerate the degenerative process.  You can visit my other blog post on proper posture to see tips to improve your posture.

Finally, chiropractic treatment of osteoarthritis includes exercises and stretches.  The general rule with osteoarthritis is if you don’t move it, you lose it.  So range of motion movements, stretches, and light exercises are essential for maintaining fluidity in the joints and flexibility of the muscles.  The National Institute on Aging has a good site for exercises for seniors with arthritis.

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis and are interested in trying chiropractic care, feel free to contact me, and I may be able to help you find a chiropractor in your area.

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