How a Chiropractor Can Help With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States that affects 10 percent men and 13 percent women aged 60 years or older. Characterized by joint pain, stiffness, and tenderness, osteoarthritis makes it difficult for affected individuals to climb stairs, walk, or perform any other physical activity that involves movement of the joints.
Since there is no cure available for osteoarthritis, physicians focus on offering symptomatic relief to patients through the use of pain-alleviating medicines. However, most patients develop tolerance to painkillers and are required to take large doses of medicines which may help relieve pain but result in various adverse effects.
Chiropractors can improve the comfort, mobility, and quality of life of patients with osteoarthritis using a combination of different natural techniques. These therapies focus on improving circulation, enhancing joint mobilization, and reducing the pain and discomfort.
Some of the chiropractic techniques used in the management of osteoarthritis include:
- Spinal Manipulation
Chiropractic manipulation is known to offer relief from chronic osteoarthritic pain. The philosophy underlying this technique is that dysfunction of spinal joints can produce pain and various other symptoms of osteoarthritis. Manipulations, which are also known as spinal adjustments, mobilize spinal joints, which in turn reduces pain. In addition to spinal adjustments, many chiropractors in Round Rock also use Traction to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis. It is a less forceful type of chiropractic manipulation that causes less discomfort.
- Massage Therapy
The purpose of massage therapy is to improve blood circulation and enhance the function of muscles and joints. In contrast to spinal manipulation that focuses on mobilization of joints, massage therapy involves manipulation of soft tissues using pressure and traction.
A research study evaluated the effectiveness of massage therapy in the management of osteoarthritis. The study concluded that Swedish massage resulted in significant improvements in pain, joint stiffness, and joint mobilization. Since patients with osteoarthritis often have low bone mineral density, it is important to use adequate massage techniques in order to reduce the risk of fractures.
- Lifestyle Changes
Chiropractors are highly qualified healthcare professionals who can suggest different lifestyle changes to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Some of the lifestyle habits that can help in the management of osteoarthritis include:
- Getting proper amount of rest
- Performing strengthening exercises
- Managing stress
- Consuming a nutritious, well-balanced diet
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake