WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis sufferers may experience the following signs and symptoms: pain and tenderness in joints that worsens with activity and is relieved by rest, discomfort in a joint before or during a change in weather, bony lumps on the middle or end joints of the fingers or the base of the thumb, loss of joint flexibility, swelling around the joint, restricted joint movement, crackling noise (called crepitus) when moving the affected joint and referred pain (in areas remote from the site of damage but on the same nerve pathway as the affected joint).
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of arthritis but they do not address the root of the problem. By strengthening structural weaknesses in the body, as natural treatments like Chiropractic and natural supplementation do, arthritis pain can be alleviated permanently.
Discover why we believe that natural treatments are the best way to treat arthritis.
HOW DOES ARTHRITIS DEVELOP?
Although the exact causes of arthritis is unclear, these factors may increase the risk: being 45 years old or older and female; certain hereditary conditions, defective cartilage and malformed joints; joint injuries caused by physical labor or sports; obesity; and having other diseases that change the normal structure and function of cartilage, such as hemochromatosis and Paget’s disease.
Arthritis literally means joint inflammation and is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting about one in every six Americans. Although arthritis is often referred to as one disease, it’s not. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is most common in women and adults over age 45. It may affect any joint in the body, including those found in the fingers, hips, knees, lower back and feet. The next most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis affecting 1 in every 100 people; this autoimmune disease is three times more common in women than in men.
Other forms of arthritis include chronic ankylosing spondylitis, which initially affects the spine and the joints between the spine and the pelvis, and reactive arthritis, which typically develops after an infection. Both gout and pseudogout are types of arthritis in which crystals are deposited in a joint, resulting in swelling and pain, and septic arthritis can develop when infection enters a joint.
MODERN MEDICINES APPROACH TO ARTHRITIS
Modern medicine continues to search for drugs, devices and surgical procedures to eliminate the chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs have become a billion dollar business. While the drugs may provide temporary relief, they do nothing to correct the underlying condition causing the pain. In fact, in the long run, these medications do more damage than good.
Another common pain treatment for osteoarthritis is a cortisone shot. It’s also one of the quickest ways to lose strength at the ligament-bone (fibro-osseous) junction. Cortisone and other steroid shots have adverse affects on bone, cartilage and soft tissue healing. Unfortunately, many people suffering from arthritis pain look for quick relief without thinking about the long-term, potentially harmful side effects that could occur. The problem with cortisone is that, although immediate pain relief is possible, it inhibits nearly every aspect of healing, making the pain condition even worse!
In simple terms, anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone shots are anti-healing. They result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration (the very cause of arthritis!). Plus, long-term use of these drugs can lead to other sources of chronic pain, allergies, leaky gut syndrome and other serious side effects.
Finally, when all else fails, patients with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease are referred to a surgeon. Although surgery may provide temporary pain relief, this invasive treatment usually makes the condition even worse! Remember, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is the result of an injury to a joint that was never allowed to heal. And healing is possible!
Anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone shots, arthroscopy, and surgery used to treat osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease all contribute to the downward spiral in the development of these conditions. All of these treatments help destroy the articular cartilage, which is the very structure that prevents us from getting arthritis and degenerative joint disease.
THE NATURAL APPROACH TO ARTHRITIS
The way to alleviate arthritis pain (forever!) is to stimulate soft tissue, ligament and cartilage repair with the aid of Chiropractic and natural supplementation. Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease involve the deterioration of the articular cartilage that lines the joints and related changes in adjacent bones and joints. This deterioration occurs because the supporting structures of the joints, primarily the ligaments, become injured . . . NOT because of general wear and tear on the joints or as an inevitable part of aging! Ligament injury is the culprit.
Here’s what happens:
- A ligament is damaged through overuse or trauma, such as a sports injury or an accident.
- Because of the ligament’s poor blood supply, it does not heal (unlike muscles, which have a good blood supply and heal quite easily).
- Over time, the injured ligament weakens, like a stretched rubberband that has lost its elasticity.
- Since ligaments function as joint stabilizers, the injured ligament is no longer capable of doing its job.
- As a result, the muscles must compensate. They begin to ache and spasm and, eventually, the joint or vertebra in the area begins to compensate as well.
- Overgrowth of bone occurs to help stabilize the injured ligament, which leads to arthritis, and a whole new level of pain and disability.
This downward spiral of pain can be halted and reversed only by stimulating healing at the source—the ligament.
Chiropractic Care is a safe and natural approach in the treatment of repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage. Chiropractic stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, repairing painful areas.
OTHER NATURAL MEDICINE TREATMENTS FOR ARTHRITIS
Over the past several years additional information has accumulated regarding the use of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and collagen II. These products are available without a prescription from health practitioners or local health food stores. They have been shown to be effective in pill form or via injection. Glucosamine can be extremely helpful in reducing pain from osteoarthritis and can also help prevent further deterioration of the joint. Another useful medicine for joint pain is Capsaicin. This is available either as a generic or proprietary cream (known as Zostrix). When applied to a painful joint on a regular basis, joint-related pain and muscle spasms are decreased to a significant degree. Side effects, other than warmth, are very rare. These creams literally work to decrease the amount of pain chemicals that are present in the tissues surrounding the joint.
If you are interested in more information about natural treatments or to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact Dr. Laboret at 972-671-5263.
Disclaimer: The preceding is to provide information about relief and the benefits that may be derived. It is not intended to claim a cure for any disease or condition. It should not take the place of your doctor’s advice or treatment.