Saturday, February 09, 2008

Knock, Knock. Who's There? Arthur. Arthur who? Arthritis!

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is typically associated with aging, but it can also develop due to joint trauma and repetitive motion to the joints over a period of time. Repetitive motion can be from activities such as sports or work related activities. Two examples would be throwing a baseball for 20 years or using a hammer to bang nails for 20 years. Osteoarthritis is caused by the cartridge over the joints deteriorating. As the bones start to rub together this causes pain and swelling. As time goes on, the bones begin to misshapen, which can lead to bone spurs. This causes more pain and discomfort. Further pain increases due to cartilage breaking off in the joint. Sadly, Osteoarthritis, also know as Degenerative Joint Disease is also part of the normal aging process. As we get older, joints start to wear down. The main problem with bone and joint degeneration is related to acceleration. The more friction on the joint, the more accelerated the degeneration. As far as osteoarthritis in the spine goes, spinal bones that are out of alignment cause excessive friction on the spinal joint, accelerating the degenerative process. This is why in some cases a 35 year old may have the spinal deterioration of a 60 year old. A traumatic accident that injures the neck or the back when someone is in their 20's will cause spinal misalignments which then leads to friction on the spinal bones that over time will show up as arthritis. To keep the joint surfaces healthy, Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements have been shown to provide the nutrition for healthy joint surfaces. Omega 3 fats, as found in fish oils provide an anti-inflammatory effect on the joints, easing discomfort. SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) has been shown to be just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, but without the obvious health risk to the stomach, kidneys and liver. Resistance exercise strengthens bone density and helps keep motion in the joints. Smokers have an increased risk of arthritis due to toxins from the nicotine building up in the body, increasing inflammation.

Thought for the Week: "Give what you have to someone, it may be better than you dare to think." ----Longfellow

Chiropractic Thought for the Week: Chiropractic spinal adjustments, performed on a regular basis, reduce friction on the spinal joint. The adjustment puts motion into the spinal joint reducing joint friction. Spinal vertebral alignment correction should take place after any and all accidents that involve the neck and back. By correcting the alignment today, a reduction in degenerative changes from the accident will be the result. Preventative spinal adjustments maintain the health of the spinal joints helping to ensure a healthy spine well into old age.