Despite the fact that it is often referred to as a ‘single disease’, arthritis is an encompassing term for more than 100 medical conditions that all affect the musculoskeletal system. These specifically target the joints where two or more bones come together.
Some of the problems associated with arthritis include damage to the joint cartilage, inflammation, stiffness, and pain. This may lead to joint deformities, joint instability, and joint weakness. People notice that arthritis can interfere in some of the most basic daily tasks, including preparing their own food, driving a car, or even walking.
In fact, it is one of Australia’s main causes of disability and chronic pain. An estimated 3.85 million Australians are affected by arthritis in some way or another, with indirect costs (lost production, loss of earnings) and medical costs totalling more than $23.9 billion each year. As people become older, the number of people who struggle with arthritis grows as well. Leading researchers suggest that an estimated 7 million Australians will suffer from some form of arthritis by the year 2050.
Most people assume that arthritis is just part of the aging process. That it is a natural problem that just ‘happens’. This is not true, especially considering that out of the suffering from the disease, 2.4 million of them are of working age.
Even though there is no cure for arthritis, it is certainly manageable. It is possible to reduce the varying degrees of discomfort and pain and increase the quality of life. Find out more about what treatment methods are available for arthritis.
How does chiropractic help arthritis?
Chiropractic is able to help people with arthritis in a number of different ways. The first thing is that chiropractic treatment can help reduce both stiffness and pain. During the psoriatic flare ups, both the ligaments and joints become inflamed. Even if the flare up is over, the joint remains painful and stiff. If the stiffness and pain are because of muscle and ligament dysfunction, chiropractic treatments can help reduce that.
It is possible to alleviate or reduce muscle tenderness and spasms with chiropractic treatments. During those episodes, the joints feel unstable and the limbs feel weak. By reducing the vicious cycle of weakness and stiffness, chiropractic care can help improve the vital protection of the joints.
Finally, it may reduce degenerative joint changes. If the joints are constantly inflamed, it can cause cartilage damage and underlying bone erosion. Even though chiropractic care does not offer a solution to the issue, it reduces the speed at which these degenerative changes continue. By encouraging joints to function as normally as possible, it helps reduce pain associated with arthritis.
How does massage therapy help arthritis?
Regular massages of the joints and muscles can reduce the pain associated with arthritis significantly. Studies show that the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms are significant and can help improve overall function of the joints, handgrip strength, range of motion, and reduce stiffness and pain.
One of the recent studies from 2006 took place amongst 68 adults who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. These patients were given two Swedish massages per week for two months.
When compared to the control group that received no massages, the massage group reported tremendous improvements in walking, range of motion, function, stiffness, and knee pain.
The reason that massage therapy works on arthritis is that it helps alleviate some of the inflammation and stiffness afterwards. Even though massage itself cannot prevent arthritis from flaring up, it can help reduce the aftermath and can make it more comfortable for patients.
Why it is important to take action for arthritis
While it may not be possible to prevent arthritis, taking a proactive approach can certainly help make living with the problem much easier. If you want to learn more about what may be possible, about how you can take these steps in arthritis minimization, visit Total Back Care today. Call 8357 8211 now to set up an appointment and find out how you can benefit.