Arthritis and Chiropractic, what’s the connection!

by dr.g

Joint Example

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Patients often remark to me that they believe their pain is due to arthritis and they just figure since their mother or father had arthritis they were doomed to have it as well.

While it is true there is a very strong genetic component to arthritis, like most genetic diseases, the gene has to be turned on in order for the disease to express itself. So while a strong family history does make one a little more susceptible to getting arthritis, it doesn’t mean you are destined for crippling hunched over posture and pain.

Arthritis occurs when the breakdown of the joint cartilage exceeds the rate of repair. Overtime this leads to inflammatory cells and can cause pain. Systemic factors like heredity, ethnicity, age, and  hormones all play a part. But the genetic component simply makes us more prone for local factors to cause or accellerate the degenerative process.

If you control the local factors, you can prevent or slow down the rate of degeneration or osteoarthritis. Local factors that increase arthritis are misalignment of joints, altered proprioception, muscle weakness, injury to joints, dysfunctional movement of joints, obesity and nutritional factors like increased free radicals.

Guess what? Chiropractic adjustments act to improve joint position, motion and proprioception. They also help to improve muscle strength and tone as well as nutrition into the joints. So getting adjusted regularly, regardless of whether you have lower back or neck pain  goes a long way towards preventing and slowing down degenerative arthritis. In addition, controlling body weight with exercise and diet can help to decrease osteoarthritis. And finally, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables as well as supplementing with antioxidants can help to prevent pain and the formation of arthritis.

So, just because mom or dad has arthritis doesn’t mean you have to have it too! For more info check out this article.

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