Top Tips on Prevention of Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is the breaking down of the tissue (cartilage) that lies between two bones (a joint). This cartilage provides shock absorption to the bones. As the cartilage breaks down, the ends of the bones become rough and pitted. As the joint wears down, calcium deposits called spurs occur. Inflammation and pain follows.

Unlike other forms of tissue, cartilage has no direct blood supply. The only way cartilage gets any significant nutrients is from a mechanical, washing over, of joint fluid. The best way for this to occur is via motion and joint movement. This is why exercise and chiropractic adjustments are so important for joint health and thus, arthritis. Using the joint may hurt but not using it decreases nutrient supply and perpetuates the vicious cycle.

A common misconception of this disease is that it only pertains to the elderly.  You may be surprised to learn that over half of those suffering are under age 65.  With this in mind, know that the earlier you are diagnosed, the better the long-term outcome with the correct care.

Chiropractic is a healthcare field that concentrates on restoring joint motion. If an area in your spine (or any other joint) is restricted or misaligned and not moving through a full range of motion it is not receiving the nutrients it needs. This area is more likely to become arthritic and continued neglect may worsen the problem.

Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) can be helpful for the inflammation and the pain but it is not getting to the root of the problem. Taking medication as your only form of treatment is like taking the battery out of your smoke alarm when it is going off. You are treating the symptom only not the problem.

 

Top Tips on Prevention of Osteoarthritis:

 

Maintain Regular Chiropractic Care 

Paula at Herts-Beds Chiropractic Clinic can provide you with effective yet non-invasive chiropractic care.  Our first recommendation would be chiropractic adjustments.  An adjustment can help to reduce the restrictions through the joints aiding in mobility of stiff and inflamed joints. By correcting joint misalignments with safe, gentle manoeuvres known as chiropractic adjustments: may aid to prevent osteoarthritis (OA) before it occurs. Chiropractic adjustments help to trigger the body’s own natural healing mechanisms, relieving the pain of arthritis through chiropractic care.

Evidence from a study of 262 patients with LBP secondary to OA shows that regular chiropractic care aids with pain relief.

The patients were randomly assigned to receive moist heat packs plus chiropractic care or moist heat pack alone.  After 20 sessions, extended over a period of several weeks, researchers noted that those receiving chiropractic care reported greater and more rapid pain reduction than the moist heat only group.  They also enjoyed increased range of motion and an improved quality of life (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006;29:107-14).

 

Modify Your Diet 

There are natural ways to improve your arthritis symptoms. Dairy products, caffeine, citrus fruits, salt, tobacco and sugar should be reduced or eliminated from your diet, as these foods may increase joint inflammation. Foods containing sulfur, such as asparagus, eggs, garlic and onions, are important for the repair and rebuilding of bone, cartilage and connective tissue, and also aid in the absorption of calcium. Other good foods include green, leafy vegetables (which supply vitamin K), fresh vegetables, non-acidic fresh fruits, whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice and fish. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, a powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent, which works by stimulating the body’s production of prostaglandins.

 

Lose Weight 

Obese patients have a higher risk of developing OA of the knee than their leaner counterparts.  Dropping pounds can reduce stress on weight-bearing joints, limit further injury and increase mobility (Ann Intern Med 1992;116:535).

 

Increase Hydration 

One of the most overlooked approaches to improve the discomfort associated with arthritis is hydration. Depending on your level of activity, a good rule of thumb is to drink at least two litres of water a day.

 

Exercise 

Physical activity is an important way to help to ward off disease, this is particularly true when it comes to preventing OA. Strengthening exercises, performed with weights or exercise bands, fortify the muscles that support joints and reduce the likelihood of developing OA.  Range-of-motion activities are also great for keeping joints limber.

Note: Prior to starting any new exercise program, however, talk to your Chiropractor.  Restrictions or modifications may be needed, depending on the condition of your overall health.

 

Supplementation

There are many different types of supplementation that can aid in relief of arthritic symptoms and long term joint health, please consult your Chiropractor for further advice.

 

Final Note 

Arthritis in any form can be a debilitating condition that prevents you from living the life you want. Rather than immediately accepting the dangerous side effects of drugs and risky surgeries, talk to your chiropractor about natural alternatives to keep your muscles and joints in optimal condition.

 If you suspect that you or someone close to you is living with symptoms caused by a form of arthritis, Herts-Beds Chiropractic Clinic could help you today. Our caring chiropractor Paula can help you determine the cause and fight off disease the natural way. Remember that there is hope – together we can find you the alleviation from arthritis you need and deserve.

 

Please visit our contact page for location details, opening hours and telephone number. The Health & Vitality Centre is based in Welwyn Garden City and our team look forward to meeting you there!