Recently we discussed a very general definition of “what is arthritis?”
Today we will dive deeper into the most common type of arthritis people experience called Osteoarthritis. It is also known as Degenerative Arthritis. The most common joints affected by osteoarthritis are the spine, hips, knees, and feet.
What causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis occurs when there is a breakdown of bone and supportive structures like cartilage. When this occurs, it causes irritation at the affected joint causing pain. This is more common in older adults due to the slow process of degeneration that comes with age.
Although it is more common in people who are 60 years and older, osteoarthritis can happen earlier in life due to genetics and previous injuries. For instance, a running back in football is more likely to get arthritis in the knees at an early age due to the wear and tear they put on their bodies compared to your average person.
How do I reduce my chance at getting osteoarthritis?
As we age, it is important to make sure we are taking the adequate steps to ensure our bodies are healthy and we are doing what we can to reduce our chance of osteoarthritis. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, along with proper diet and exercise.
With obesity rates continuing to rise it is important to address the stress it puts on the spine. With the increase in abdominal weight, it puts more strain on low back muscles and increases the lordotic curve in the spine. This increase in the lordotic curve in the lumbar spine can lead to degenerative changes and early arthritic changes in the low back.
Another way to help reduce your risk of early arthritic changes is to avoid injury. Although this is often a hard one to avoid, things such as being aware of your surroundings, proper warm up, and having a strong core can help decrease your chance of injury.
One very common injury many of us suffer from is due to repetitive movements. Being aware of your repetitive habits is very important. For instance, a worker who is constantly lifting needs to constantly lift with good form to avoid injury.
How Can Chiropractic Treatment Help Me?
Chiropractic care is a great option for preventative care and symptom relief. There are many things chiropractors can do to ensure that your joints stay as healthy as possible throughout your life. This includes adjusting joints to provide proper movement of the area and slow down the process of degeneration due to wear and tear.
Education is one of the greatest ways chiropractors can help patients. By providing useful information on proper biomechanics, diet, icing, and exercise, we can ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure you are as healthy as possible. Depending on the state you live in and the modalities the chiropractors use they may recommend ultrasound, low level laser therapy, electrotherapy, or cryotherapy.