Realizing that it has been a long while since our last blog post, for this particular one we figured that we could talk about a frequently addressed issue in our office. Here in San Angelo, it is starting to get colder and one of the most common things we hear is, "My joints are starting to ache, I probably just have arthritis." This idea brings with it plenty of misinformation and misunderstanding as there are many different kinds of arthritis. When we break down the word; arthro- means a joint, and -itis means inflammation. There are a lot of conditions that create inflammation in our joints, so let's dive into some particular causes of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It happens when mechanical damage to the surfaces between our bones causes disorders inside the joint. Osteoarthritis might even be a slight misnomer, as it is not an inflammatory process that creates the issue. Osteoarthritis tends to get progressively worse with age. Common sites of osteoarthritis are our knees, hips, and hands. Cases can vary wildly severity, but this type of arthritis is something that we love to see in the chiropractor’s office. Restoring health joint motion is one of the favorite parts of our job, because as chiropractors we want to keep people moving their best.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused when the body's own immune system attacks the tissue of the joints. This leads to dysfunction and physical changes. Rheumatoid arthritis is particularly pesky, as some commonly affected sites are the hands, wrists, and neck. Many people ask, “Can I see a chiropractor with rheumatoid arthritis?” Both Dr. James and Dr. Emily have worked with patients with rheumatoid arthritis. While treatment is different in order to accommodate the changes from that disease process, many patients feel a great amount of relief after working with their chiropractor. Also changes in diet and lifestyle to aid in inflammation can greatly change the quality of life in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is another, less common, form of inflammatory arthritis. It appears in some of the people who have suffered from the skin condition psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis presents with different symptoms that affect many regions of the body like the nails and eyes. The joints most commonly affected are the spine, shoulders, neck, wrists, and ankles. So again, can someone with psoriatic arthritis see a chiropractor? Yes, similar to the inflammatory arthritis of rheumatoid arthritis, patients with psoriatic arthritis require special evaluation and changes to their treatment, but many can experience relief from chiropractic care.
The word arthritis represents a large array of changes in our body, so knowing what type it is, plays a big role in care. There are many different types, even from what are listed here, so if you are concerned that you might be developing changes in your joints seeking care from a trusted healthcare provider is a good next step. Here at Concho Valley Chiropractic, we are big fans of keeping people's joints healthy so if you have any questions about arthritis please do not hesitate to ask.