Osteoarthritis is basically the normal wear and tear on our joints effected through daily living. It affects millions of Americans, especially the older ones, but can affect younger patients. There’s actually no cure for osteoarthritis; unfortunately it is degenerative and crippling condition that can limit a sufferer’s ability to perform the activities of daily life. However, there are ways to manage the pain of osteoarthritis, even without the use of medications.
Osteoarthritis and Its Symptoms
Patients suffering from osteoarthritis find that their movements are severely limited because of the stiffness and pain they experience in their joints. This is because the cartilage that used to be in the joints buffering the bones and absorbing shocks have gradually disintegrated, leaving nothing to stop the bones from rubbing together. This leads to inflammation, swelling, and joint stiffness. When bone spurs or osteophytes form because of the continuous rubbing movements, this leads to more pain that can severely limit movement and ambulation.
Due to the nature of the disease, osteoarthritis primarily affects the elderly, and most Americans aged 60 and over have this disease at differing intensity. Because there’s no way to put the cartilage back, osteoarthritis is incurable. The most one can do is to slow the disease and learn how to manage the pain associated with it.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Most osteoarthritis sufferers use painkillers to deal with the pain. However, it’s very easy to get addicted to drugs, and there are side effects associated with long-term drug intake as well.
The American College of Rheumatology has therefore recommended that both pharmacologic (drug) and non-pharmacologic treatments be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Drug treatments include the prescription of acetaminophen, NSAIDs, over-the-counter gels and creams for the pain, and even direct injections into the joints.
The non-pharmacologic treatments they recommended include reduction of weight (to ease pressure on the joints), cardio and strength training exercises, acupuncture, hot and cold therapies, and chiropractic care.
Chiropractic Care for Osteoarthritis
People who are getting advanced in age should see a chiropractor regularly. Not only will chiropractic treatment help delay osteoarthritis, it can also help in slowing down its progress.
Chiropractors can reduce pain through specific chiropractic techniques, reduce the stiffness in the joints, and help restore normal joint motion. Chiropractors will also advise on the exercises the patient needs to do to retain full mobility and range of motion, as well as any nutritional changes that will help delay this crippling disease.
With a regular visit to your chiropractor, you may never need experience the pain of osteoarthritis in your life!
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