Almost everyday, Dr. Brandon and I have patients come in and tell us that they have arthritis and attribute that directly to their pain. While that is possible, more often than not arthritis is not the main cause of our patients’ pain.
Yes, you heard that right, just because you have an x-ray showing degenerative changes in your back, neck, or extremities, that does not mean you will have or should have PAIN! With that being said, what is arthritis, who gets it, and what can we do to combat the negative effects associated with it?
What is OSTEOARTHRITIS?
The joints in our body are constantly repairing and producing synovial fluid to maintain lubrication and reduce friction for pain free motion. Arthritis when the dynamic equilibrium of joint breakdown and repair is thrown off, mostly in weight bearing joints. When this happens the joint slowly becomes stiffer which then is associated with the onset of pain and discomfort when using it. This pain may also be associated with swelling and eventually instability. While this does not sound like the ideal scenario, it is just part of life, and the cool thing is there are many things people can do to slow the progression and combat these negative side effects.
Who gets it?
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States; as we age, our chances to deal with osteoarthritis only increase. However, osteoarthritis is multi-factorial, and just because we are aging does not mean we have to deal with osteoarthritis. I’m sure we have all heard that running is bad for your knees and that if you lift a lot your joints will break down earlier in life. Well guess what, those statements are actually gross over exaggerations. While this was believed for a long time, even within the medical community, it all changed when the couch potato study came out. Researchers compared a large sum of adults who were very sedentary to another large group who exercised regularly. The preconceived belief was that the active individuals would have much more evidence of osteoarthritis than the sedentary individuals. It turned out to be just the opposite. Essentially, being a couch potato isn’t good for your joints.
What can we do here in the clinic and what can you do?
Here in the clinic we can provide gentle mobilizations/adjustments to arthritic joints and show patients how to load those joints in different ways that do not cause pain. The more we move joints, the less cartilage breakdown occurs and the less pain we will feel. Exercise not only can decrease the negative effects and progression of osteoarthritis, but it can also increase flexibility, and can help with weight control. We will also advise the supplementation of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate. Both of these have been shown to significantly reduce joint breakdown and help maintain disc health.
WE CAN HELP:If you feel like you’re having issues like this or something similar, call us today at 260-927-0581 or schedule an appointment online! There is no reason to live in pain. As always, we are here for you at ProActive Spine & Joint.
Move well, live well: that’s what we want for our community and for you.