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How Can a Chiropractor Help Arthritis?

Chiropractor for arthritis in Anchorage or Juneau: When you’re suffering from arthritis, it can be hard to know which treatment is best. Chiropractic care may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but there are many proven benefits of chiropractic care for people with arthritis. Read on to find out what chiropractic care can do for arthritis and why you should see a chiropractor if you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with this condition.

Chiropractic care can reduce joint inflammation and improve mobility. This helps affected joints move more freely with less pain and discomfort. Chiropractors are experts when it comes to musculoskeletal and joint problems. They are well-versed in how to treat people who have arthritis.

Read on to learn just how a chiropractor can help with arthritis, including studies that show just how effective seeing a chiropractor for arthritis is. 

Is Chiropractic Good for Arthritis?

Chiropractic care is good for arthritis in a couple of different ways. There’s no cure for arthritis, and chiropractic care does not permanently eliminate arthritis, but it does help to reduce pain, slow the degeneration of joints, and improve range of motion.

Below are just a few studies that show how powerful seeing a chiropractor for arthritis really is. The following studies all deal with osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis. However, we will also go over what chiropractic care can do for those with rheumatoid arthritis, as well.

Chiropractor for Hip Arthritis

  • This study, published in 2010, followed the progress of four patients diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis. These four people were given a total of nine chiropractic sessions each, and their outcomes were based on pain and range of motion.
  • At the end of the study, all four patients reported improvements in both pain and range of motion. The overall improvement percentage was nearly 70%.  

Chiropractor for Knee Arthritis

  • case study followed the treatment of a 54-year-old woman with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. She had been experiencing pain for about three years before seeking chiropractic care. The doctor of chiropractic treated her with a combination of active and passive therapies, as well as nutritional therapy.
  • The woman experienced improvements in both knee pain and range of motion during the treatment and five months after. This is a great example of the kind of multi-faceted therapy we do at Better Health Chiropractic. For arthritis, a combination of active and passive treatments can help to restore motion to the joint and reduce pain through reducing or eliminating inflammation.

Chiropractor for Back Arthritis

  • This larger study of 250 people compared the effects of moist heat and chiropractic care on those with back pain from osteoarthritis. The patients were randomly split into two groups. One group received only moist heat therapy for their back pain, while the other received both moist heat and chiropractic care.
  • The two groups were identical at the beginning of the study in regards to pain and range of motion, but that didn’t last long. Those in the chiropractic group experienced significant pain relief whereas the moist heat group did not. Pain relief was more rapid and more profound in the chiropractic group, as was increased range of motion.

Chiropractor for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the body mistakes native tissue in the joints for invaders. This causes the body to attack the joints, which causes chronic inflammation. The normal type of chiropractic care for osteoarthritis isn’t ideal for rheumatoid arthritis because severely inflamed joints shouldn’t be manipulated. But, that doesn’t mean that chiropractic care can’t help. It can.
  • One study showed that chiropractic care helped lower inflammation markers circulating in the body. And lower inflammation markers mean less inflammation and less pain. This is why many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers often take medication and see a chiropractor to help manage this disease.

Types of Chiropractic Treatment for Arthritis

Chiropractors will prescribe or recommend different treatments depending on what they find through their examination. These treatments might involve anything from daily exercises to lifestyle changes, manual adjustments, or massage therapy. For those with arthritis in the spine, a chiropractic doctor will likely recommend inflammatory back pain treatments that include spinal manipulation, certain exercises, and massage therapy. 

The goal of any chiropractic treatment for arthritis is to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion, as the studies above demonstrate. 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, a massage therapist, and a nutritionist. 

Some chiropractors are even nutritionists themselves, so they can better help their patients. They understand how all the separate parts of the body interact with each other. They know that an issue with the foot or 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

Chiropractic Treatment Better Than NSAIDs

Since it’s a conservative treatment, chiropractic care is good for you without posing the same risks as other common treatment options for arthritis. Chiropractors never use invasive techniques or drugs to treat conditions. The body works as a whole, and chiropractors know this. When one part of the body is inflamed or dysfunctioning, it undoubtedly affects another part of the body. 

This natural, conservative approach makes chiropractic care even better for arthritis than some over-the-counter drugs that are considered safe in low doses. In fact, one study looked at which is better for treating arthritis: chiropractic care or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

This study found that continued use of NSAIDs should be avoided if at all possible due to the negative effects that the drugs have on the body after extended use. Plus, the authors of the study noted that NSAIDs don’t actually do anything to treat arthritis, they simply mask the symptoms. 

Chiropractic care, however, was found to be the better option as it wasn’t associated with the negative side effects of NSAIDs and it could actually help reduce pain and improve range of motion. The authors of the study suggested that chiropractic care, when used with other options such as rehabilitative stretches and exercises, should always be considered the best conservative treatment option for arthritis.

Is Seeing a Chiropractor for Arthritis Safe?

Since chiropractic care is a non-invasive and conservative treatment method, it’s 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.

You may have heard that cracking your back, which sometimes happens during a chiropractic adjustment, can cause arthritis. The truth is that it does not cause arthritis, and there are plenty of studies that prove it. The sound you hear is simply the release of gases that build up naturally in the joints of the body.

Chiropractor for Arthritis: Conclusion

As the evidence suggests, arthritis sufferers should consider chiropractic treatment before seeking other treatment options, including NSAIDs. Expert chiropractors, like the ones that have been operating in Alaska for 20+ years at Better Health Chiropractic, are well-versed in treating arthritis. They offer cervical spondylosis treatment and back arthritis treatment in addition to treating arthritis of the knees, hips, and shoulders. 

There are many different treatment techniques available with the most common being exercises that help improve mobility as well as chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and physical therapy stretches. Chiropractic care is a great treatment option that can offer people with arthritis relief from chronic discomfort!

Contact Better Health Alaska in Anchorage or Juneau today to experience the relief that thousands of Alaskans have come to know. 

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