5 Reasons You Should See a Chiropractor for Arthritis

5 Reasons You Should See a Chiropractor for Arthritis

There’s no cure for arthritis. This can be a hard truth to take for many people who suffer from arthritis. It causes pain and limits mobility. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to function and enjoy life with arthritis. 

Seeing a chiropractor for arthritis has many different benefits.

  • Chiropractic Care Is Good For Inflammation
  • Chiropractors Can Help Arthritis In The Whole Body
  • Chiropractic Care Helps With Stress
  • Chiropractic Is Safe For Arthritis
  • Chiropractic Care Provides a Multifaceted Approach

In fact, chiropractors are uniquely positioned to help you manage your arthritis effectively. They use their expertise with the musculoskeletal system to ease arthritis pain and restore mobility all throughout the body— not just in the spine. 

Can A Chiropractor Help With Arthritis?

The kind of care you receive depends on what kind of arthritis you’re suffering from. Degenerative arthritis requires a different kind of treatment than arthritis caused by inflammation. But the bottom line is that, YES, chiropractors have successfully helped countless patients manage their arthritis pain and joint function. 

Those hesitant about visiting a chiropractor should know that there are stringent requirements to become a licensed chiropractor. While many people just refer to them as chiropractors, they actually earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. This means they are experts in the musculoskeletal system and non-invasive, holistic treatments

Chiropractic Care Benefits For Arthritis

Now let’s take a look at the benefits of chiropractic care for arthritis. The following benefits are backed by studies and affirmed by arthritis organizations. Again, there is no cure, but chiropractic care is an effective way to treat arthritis. Here’s why. 

1. Chiropractic Care Is Good For Inflammation

There’s an old myth that still persists today that cracking your back, as sometimes happens during a chiropractic adjustment, can cause arthritis. But there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, the evidence says that cracking your back doesn’t cause arthritis

The release of gas from the joint that causes the popping sound isn’t harmful at all, and it doesn’t cause inflammation. In fact, adjustments have been shown to reduce inflammation markers

But chiropractors often walk a fine line when it comes to treating inflamed joints. Some inflammation is natural when the body is trying to heal. In these cases, a chiropractor will refrain from adjusting the inflamed joint, instead using one of many available techniques to reduce inflammation naturally. However, those suffering from chronic inflammation, such as happens with rheumatoid arthritis, may benefit from chiropractic adjustments.     

2. Chiropractors Can Help Arthritis In The Whole Body

Many people who aren’t personally familiar with chiropractic care are unclear about what chiropractors do. They think that chiropractors only deal with the spine. This is one reason why people suffering from arthritis in other joints, such as the hips or knees, dismiss chiropractic care as a treatment option. 

But the truth is that chiropractors treat the entire body. The spine is simply the most common area they treat because back problems are incredibly common. 

Here’s what chiropractors can do for arthritis in other parts of the body.

1) Chiropractor For Arthritis In The Neck

Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain and inflammation in the neck area due to arthritis. A doctor of chiropractic will aim to improve joint function and mobility through the use of spinal manipulation, physical therapy, soft tissue, therapy, and exercises. 

2) Chiropractor For Arthritis In The Knee

The most common type of arthritis in the knee is osteoarthritis. This is most often caused by a combination of age, weight, activity level, and diet. The knees take a lot of abuse over the years, and when we get to a certain age, the joint may start to get painful. Luckily, chiropractors can address all of the factors above while performing knee adjustments when necessary to reduce pain and inflammation. 

3) Chiropractor For Arthritis In The Hip

Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hip joints as well as the knees. When this happens, a chiropractor can help. One study showed that just two chiropractic adjustments per week for six weeks along with patient education helped those with hip arthritis. With adjustments, stretches, exercises, and education, chiropractors can ease hip pain and improve mobility

3. Chiropractic Care Helps With Stress

Dealing with arthritis, or anything that causes you pain and limits your mobility, can be incredibly stressful. If you throw in addictive pain pills and treatments that only treat the symptoms, you can find yourself in a completely different mindset. 

Stress has been shown to cause other issues in the body. Inflammation seems to be related to stress. This means that if you’re suffering from arthritis, stress isn’t doing you any favors. In fact, it could be making things worse. This is another reason chiropractic care for arthritis is ideal.

From chiropractic massage and active release techniques to physical therapy modalities and lifestyle tips, a visit to the chiropractor can help reduce both mental and physical stress. But the best way chiropractors relieve stress is through pain relief. When you’re no longer in pain and you have some mobility back, it’s easy to have a better outlook on life. 

4. Chiropractic Is Safe For Arthritis

Since chiropractic care is a non-invasive and conservative treatment method, it’s generally considered very safe for arthritis. Most patients who experience adverse effects state that their discomfort is mild and usually dissipates within 24 hours. The Arthritis Foundation recommends chiropractic care as an effective and safe way to manage arthritis. 

When compared to injections and the use of dangerous pain medications, chiropractic care is incredibly safe. This is because doctors of chiropractic take a natural, full-body approach to arthritis. Even if they can’t adjust a specific joint because of inflammation or pain, they can often treat the area around that joint, or any other areas of the body that may be affected. 

For example, hip or knee arthritis often affects the lower back. While the back may not be arthritic, it may be out of alignment and a chiropractic adjustment can help relieve back pain and even promote healing in the knee or hip area. This approach is proven to work for many chiropractic care patients with arthritis. 

5. Chiropractic Care Provides a Multifaceted Approach

It’s probably clear to you now having read the other reasons on this list, but chiropractic care is a multifaceted health care option. This is best exemplified by the different modalities and techniques chiropractors use. 

While spinal adjustments are a major component of any chiropractic treatment, they are far from the only tool in a chiropractor’s toolbox. Since it is a full-body approach, you’ll often find that the chiropractor’s office includes a physical therapist, massage therapist, a nutritionist, and perhaps even an acupuncturist. 

Some chiropractors are even nutritionists themselves, so they can better help their patients. They understand how all the seemingly separate parts of the body interact with each other. They know that an issue with the foot of the knee can cause problems all the way up to the spine.

When you visit a chiropractor for arthritis, you’ll likely get an approach that includes:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Massage therapy
  • Stretching and exercises
  • Nutrition tips
  • Weight loss tips
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammation techniques including ultrasound, cold laser therapy, electronic stimulation, and heat and ice therapy. 
  • Posture tips

Chiropractor For Arthritis

Your specific treatment plan will depend on many factors which will be determined by your chiropractor after a thorough medical history and evaluation. Many people have experienced improvement of symptoms, pain relief, and increased range of motion when seeing a chiropractor for arthritis. 

How often you should get adjusted will depend on the specific plan and your preferences. Even once or twice a week may be enough to experience a drastic change. No matter how many times you decide to go, you’re in good hands with chiropractic care for arthritis

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3188345/
https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/physical-therapies/chiropractic-care-for-arthritis
http://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/chiropractic-for-arthritis/#:~:text=Many%20of%20Boesch’s%20patients%20have,and%20inflammation%2C%20and%20improve%20mobility.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1063458413008455

Dr. Brent Wells - Anchorage Chiropractor
About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.