Osteoarthritis Chiropractors in Watkinsville & Athens
The most common kind of arthritis is degenerative osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis. This can occur in almost any joint in the body where cartilage is the protective tissue between the joint articulations. Hips, knees, and the spine are commonly affected because they bear weight.
OA — also called osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and degenerative joint disease — rarely affects other joints unless there is an underlying disorder of cartilage or previous injury. Normal joints are covered in cartilage, a tough, rubbery substance. Normal cartilage reduces friction in joints and acts as a shock absorber by changing shape when compressed (flattened or pressed together). The cartilage in a joint becomes stiff and loses its elasticity as a result of osteoarthritis. As the cartilage wears away, its ability to absorb shock will be greatly diminished. When cartilage degrades, tendons and ligaments can swell, causing pain. Eventually, the bones may rub together. In the spine, Osteoarthritis is commonly referred to as Degenerative Disc Disease and Degenerative Joint Disease. Osteoarthritis can be caused by several factors.
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Causes of Osteoarthritis
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Over time, osteoarthritis symptoms often worsen slowly. They include:
- Joint Pain. Pain may occur when joints are moved.
- Stiffness. Swollen joints are often noted upon arising or after inactivity.
- Tenderness. Applying light pressure to your joint might make it feel tender.
- Poor Range of Motion. Your joint may not be able to move fully.
- Grinding Sound. Use of the joint may cause you to feel grating or to hear popping.
- Bone Spurs. A hard lump of extra bone may form around the affected joint.
- Swelling & Inflammation. The soft tissues around the joint may be inflamed.
Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis
The following factors play a role in diagnosing osteoarthritis:
X-rays can be used to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other types of arthritis. They show the extent of the joint damage. An MRI may be necessary to determine if arthritis or another condition is present if the X-ray results do not clearly show it.
You may need blood work to determine if you have another type of arthritis. You may need some of the fluid from your joints removed (called joint aspiration) so your doctor can examine it under a microscope to rule out further illnesses.
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis in Watkinsville & Athens
Several factors can influence how you are treated for osteoarthritis, including your age, occupation, overall health, medical history, location of the condition, and severity. You can consider the following treatments:
When you’ve had osteoarthritis or a stiff neck, you’ve probably considered seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractic care may be beneficial for treating back and neck pain as well as improving mobility, since chiropractors manipulate or adjust the spine. Chiropractic care relies on the use of varying degrees of force to correct misaligned joints, which can affect the entire body’s functions. Misaligned joints or joints that are not functioning properly are the joints that will become arthritic faster than others. The role of the chiropractor is to help maintain joint health and joint function to help slow down these kinds of arthritic changes. Safe and healthy movement like stretching and proper types of exercise can help support the better function your chiropractor is helping you with.
Weight loss & increased physical activity
Keep your weight within your recommended range to prevent osteoarthritis of the knees, hips, and spine, and reduce the stress on the joints already affected. Losing weight can also alleviate the pain and stress in your knees if you have osteoarthritis. Exercise improves joint mobility and helps to strengthen muscles around joints. The best exercises for joints are gentle ones, such as pilates, swimming, walking on flat surfaces or yoga. Jogging and high-impact aerobics can increase joint pain. When patients have osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee, sometimes strengthening the muscles around the joint and its actions can reduce pain. Chiropractic Works provides nutrition consutling & lifestyle coaching services, too, to help guide you to improving physical activity and overall wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic Care for Osteoarthritis in Watkinsville & Athens
Chiropractic care can be the most conservative and often the most effective way to initiate care for joints that may be headed down that arthritis path. Other types of osteoarthritis treatment may include exercise, weight loss, medications, physical therapy with muscle strengthening exercises, hot or cold compresses on the painful joint, removing the joint fluid, injecting medications into the joint, and using devices such as crutches or canes. In cases where other treatment options have failed to relieve pain, surgery may be useful.
Several factors can influence how you are treated for osteoarthritis, including your age, occupation, overall health, medical history, location of the condition, and severity.
Degenerative disc disease, despite its name, is more of a process than a disease. It is primarily caused by some sort of traumatic injury to the joint, and that could be an overuse type injury or a macro trauma like whiplash or sports injuries. Then with time this leads to wear and tear. DDD gets worse with time and more so if you are not doing anything to proactively take care of those wearing joints. There can be mild to severe pain that interferes with everyday activities.
Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise can relieve pain, promote a healthy body weight, and improve overall strength and mobility, all of which are critical factors when managing DDD.