How Chiropractic Care Eases Osteoarthritis SymptomsOsteoarthritis not only causes pain, but also makes it difficult to do a variety of everyday things. When your joints are stiff and achy, climbing stairs, buttoning your shirt, or getting in and out of the bathtub without falling become more challenging than you could ever have imagined. Adding chiropractic care to your osteoarthritis treatment plan can reduce both pain and stiffness.
8 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for OsteoarthritisStruggling to manage your osteoarthritis symptoms? Give your chiropractor a call. He or she offers a variety of safe, effective treatments for arthritis symptoms. Chiropractic care can help you:
- Keep Pain Under Control. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage at the ends of the bones in a joint wears away. Without that protective cushioning, the bones grind together every time you move the joint, causing jolts of pain. Chiropractic adjustments realign your joints and reduce painful pressure on the bones and cartilage. Self-reported pain levels in patients who had osteoarthritis of the neck decreased from 8.6 to 2.6 after receiving manipulation (adjustments) and mechanical mobilization device therapy, according to a research study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
- Reduce Stiffness. Swelling and stiffness increase as cartilage breaks down. At the same time, the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint also become stiffer. When your joints are stiff and painful, you may not feel like moving much. Unfortunately, inactivity increases stiffness and pain. Adjustments, massage, and other therapies offered by your chiropractor relieve stiffness and improve range of motion and flexibility.
- Ease Muscle Spasms. Muscle spasms often occur along with osteoarthritis. In addition to correcting joint alignment, chiropractic adjustments reduce pressure on your nerves, which helps stop spasms. Your chiropractor may also treat spasms with massage or soft tissue mobilization, a therapy that reduces muscle tension and improves blood flow to your muscles.
- Decrease Inflammation. Joint inflammation, a key factor in both pain and stiffness, is more likely to occur when your joints are misaligned. When misalignments are corrected, inflammation improves.
- Improve Your Sleep. Do you toss and turn at night because your joints ache? Lack of sleep is more than just an annoyance. Sleep deprivation can cause daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating and could increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, according to the Sleep Foundation. It’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when you ease your pain with chiropractic care.
- Avoid Falls. Balance issues and falls can be caused by stiff joints. If you have hip or knee osteoarthritis, your risk of falling is much higher than normal. People with one arthritic lower limb joint were 53% more likely to fall, while two arthritic joints increased the risk to 74%, according to a study that appeared in Arthritis Care & Research. In addition to offering treatments that reduce joint stiffness, your chiropractor can also recommend exercises that improve flexibility and balance.
- Reduce Your Dependence on Medication. All medication, whether over-the-counter or prescription, can cause side effects, particularly if taken every day. Arthritis medications may cause heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, constipation, or even increase your risk of stomach ulcers or kidney damage. If chiropractic care is part of your osteoarthritis treatment regimen, you might be able to reduce the amount of medication you take and avoid unpleasant or unhealthy side effects.
- Make Life Easier. It’s hard to enjoy life when every move you make causes pain. Luckily, you may not have to give up your favorite activities because of osteoarthritis symptoms, thanks to chiropractic care. Your personalized chiropractic treatment plan includes therapies, exercises, and lifestyle recommendations designed to help you get moving again.
Sleep Foundation: Sleep Deprivation, 3/18/2022
Arthritis Care & Research: Lower Limb Osteoarthritis and the Risk of Falls in a Community-Based Longitudinal Study of Adults with and without Osteoarthritis, 5/2015
Arthritis Foundation: Chiropractic Care for Arthritis
WebMD: Chiropractic Care for Joint Problems: What to Know, 10/1/20
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies, 2/2011