A New Perspective
Arthritis and Chiropractic Care
As a chiropractor in Colorado Springs, I've had a lot of people ask me about their persistent spinal pain. After questioning them about it, they typically tell me, ” Well, I was told I shouldn't get chiropractic adjustments because I have arthritis.”
And that's terrible advice.
Arthritis can be pretty complex. But if there's one chiropractic-oriented idea that you'll need to understand about arthritis, it's this: Arthritis in the spine is actually a symptom of spinal-related problems. That means arthritis can be caused by issues such as bone spurs, disc thinning, changes of the spinal structure, etc. These issues typically stem from bad spinal health, and it can sometimes take upwards of 15-20 years for symptoms to appear. That’s why we always screen for spine health. Our goal is to keep you from developing arthritis down the road.
In most cases, it starts with no pain at all. Instead, you'll experience mild to moderate nerve pressure that causes dysfunction in the spine. This pressure on the nervous system causes a change in the tissues around the spine, and nerve impulses fail to stimulate the muscles and tissues adjoining the spine correctly. The body recognizes this pressure, and it immediately starts to compensate for the pressure. One way it can compensate is by moving away from the area of pressure. Another way is by causing fixation in the spinal joints that are not moving correctly. Once that lack of movement occurs, it only takes 14 days for deterioration to begin.
When deterioration begins, it's on a microscopic level. So envision a bone on top of a bone with a disc in between. Picture all the fibers and tissues, the nerves coming off of each side, and then the joints coming off of the back. When trauma or injury occurs, it causes those tissue to change. This puts pressure on the surrounding nerves, allowing deterioration to set in. When we see these points on an X-ray, they're in very specific segments. This is because it's actually not an arthritic change that’s happening through the whole spine, but deterioration that's occurring at specific points of trauma.
The bad news is that trauma and deterioration can happen to anyone. But the good news is that chiropractic care can help the spine regain its original mobility, slowing deterioration and preventing further trauma from occurring. Regular adjustments will relieve the pressure on your nervous system and allow your spine to heal itself. You'll also notice an increase in mobility and a decrease in pain.
Chiropractic care can wok wonders for spinal issues, and sciatica is no exception to this. Many people are under the impression that sciatica is caused by arthritis in the spine, and because of this, chiropractic won't alleviate the pain. While it may be true that sciatica causes changes in your joints, it's not true that chiropractic won't help. Relieving the pressure in your spine will keep your symptoms from getting worse and prevent further damage from occurring. It's also important to understand that the changes and bone spurs in those joints do not tell the full story of how that pressure is being applied. The pressure and pain in your spine can always be alleviated, regardless of how much your joints have changed. And we're here to prove it to you.
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As a Chiropractor in Colorado Springs, I have had a lot of people ask me about their problems with their spine and when I ask them more questions oftentimes they will tell me, ” Well, I was told I should not get adjustments or chiropractic care because I got arthritis”.
There are different things to know about arthritis and one chiropractic oriented idea that people need to understand is that arthritity in the spine is actually a symptom of spinal related problems. What I mean by that is the arthritity seen on x-rays is bone spurs, disc thinning, changes with the actual structure of the spine, arthritic degenerative joint changes and things like that. These actually stem from ill health that has been occurring in the spine and which could have been occurring for 15-20 years before a person is really aware of it. That’s why we like to check peoples spines just as a screening to see how healthy the spine is.
The chain of events happens that the person will have mild to moderate nerve pressure that really does not create any kind of a symptom but causes the dysfunction in the spine. What happens is, with the pressure on the nervous system, that causes the change in how well the tissue is working around the spine because the nerve impulses around the spine are not stimulating the muscle and the tissue adjoining the spine correctly. The body perceived the pressure on the nerve and it creates compensation. One way it will compensate for that is that to move away from the area of pressure or it actually causes fixation where the joints in the spine are not going to move correctly. Once that lack of movement occurs, within a fourteen day period of that happening, deterioration starts.
It’s important to understand when we are talking about the initiation of deterioration that it is at a microscopic level. So, if you can envision a bone on top of a bone and a disc between there, all the fibers and the tissue, then the nerves coming off of each side, then the joints coming off of the back. When we have trauma or injury inside that causes the change in the tissue structure and it can cause pressure on the nerves. Those components are the initiation of the whole process that begins the deterioration. because the majority of the time when we see points on an x-ray it’s very distinguished at a specific segment. It’s not an arthritic rampant change that’s happening through the whole spine, it’s very specific segments that are actually deteriorating at that point .
Chiropractically, the beauty is that as we reinstate the integrity of motion in the spine we slow that process. We can still get pressure off of the nervous system which alleviates what the person is experiencing as far as symptoms. We are actually able to restore the health of the spine inside by restoring the motion and getting the balance back and getting the pressure off of the nervous system therefore allowing the body to get into a healing state. The body understands how to heal correctly it just needs a little bit of help and that is the job of the chiropractic adjustment, to get in there increase the balance, decrease the pressure on the nervous system and make sure that we can get health restored.
A lot of people are under the impression that they have sciatica and they are told that” it is due to arthritity in their back”, ” I have headaches but I have arthritis in my neck”. That may be true that they had the findings that there were changes in the joints, but it’s not true that you can’t get results, because you can get fantastic results by taking the pressure off of the nerves. Remember the changes in the joint and the bone spurs growing there is an association with the problem in the spine that does not tell the whole history of how that pressure is being applied and that is the art of the chiropractic adjustment. to be able to release that pressure. We can release the pressure and get the person feeling fantastic and make sure we get those changes restored in a positive way to stop that arthritity from continuing.