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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic

02
Jan

Treating Osteoarthritis

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Chiropractic Care

Question: My family doctor told me I have osteoarthritis in my back and neck. What exactly is arthritis? Can a chiropractor treat it?

Answer: Arthritis simply means joint inflammation. There are over 100 different diseases that affect the joints. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects multiple joints throughout the body in which the body attacks itself.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, striking nearly 21 million Americans. It is known as "wear and tear" arthritis. It is a degenerative joint condition that occurs when the cartilage covering the ends of the bones deteriorates or the spinal discs degenerate. This results in pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. You're stiff and sore, especially in the morning after resting, when the joint becomes more swollen.

Why does the cartilage wear out? Stresses and strains over time can cause cartilage degeneration. That is why our weight-bearing joints such as the spine, hips and knees take such a beating. Trauma is another cause. Slips and falls, lifting injuries and car accidents can damage joints, cartilage and spinal discs, leading to decline. Most people don't know smoking causes cartilage and spinal discs to wear out faster because of poor nutrition and lack of blood supply.

Unfortunately, most of us suffer from osteoarthritis as we age. By age 70, 85% of us will fight this condition. Medical doctors typically prescribe nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as Celebrex and Vioxx. These reduce or slow inflammation, thereby controlling pain, but they don't increase joint function. Long-term use increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as internal bleeding.

Doctors of chiropractic can help osteoarthritis in the following way:
- Controlled manipulation increases joint mobility and reduces stiffness. Spines as well as hips, knees and shoulders can be safely treated.
- Improved alignment in your spine decreases wear and tear.
- Correcting and balancing your posture decreases uneven pressure applied to the feet, knees, hips and spine.
- Controlled moderate exercise helps stimulate cartilage and discs
- As your arthritic pain improves, you can begin low impact exercise such as swimming, biking and walking
- Natural ways to reduce inflammation include ice treatments, diets low in fat and sugar, supplements such as ginger and alfalfa.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may help preserve degenerative cartilage and reduce pain.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic problem and nobody can cure it. However, with proper management, chiropractic care and exercise, you can often have a degree of control and minimize your "bad days".



Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

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