Chiropractic Can Absolutely Help.
The cause of the joint inflammation and symptoms is very commonly a combination of uneven weight distribution and nutritional deficiency and utilizing chiropractic is essential to proper treatment. Think of your spine like tires on your car. Speed bumps, potholes, car accidents and lack of regular maintenance can result in uneven tire alignment. If your tires have an uneven distribution of weight because they are not aligned properly then they will wear unevenly. This is a common reason for bald spots on your tires. While your tires should be able to last thousands of miles, the life your tires could easily be cut in half if the alignment is off. The same is true of your spine.
Common slips fall, sports injuries, car accidents (even minor car accidents), bad posture can often seem minor if the pain doesn’t linger. However, small and big injuries can result in your spine being uneven. This shift in the proper alignment of your spine results in improper biomechanical loads being placed on the spine and ultimately uneven wear. This uneven wear will result in inflammation in the joints called spondylosis, osteoarthritis or arthritis of the spine. While this article focuses on arthritis of the spine, the principles discussed are applicable to all joints in the human body.
Where Do You Begin?
As with your car, an exam must be performed to determine the actual alignment of your car or spine so that it can be compared with normal to determine what the necessary treatment is. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right chiropractor. If you want to CORRECT the misalignment of the spine you have to take it to a chiropractor capable of making structural changes to your spine. The only way to be sure of this is if the chiropractor is able to change the shape and structure of your spine.
You will be able to see this with x-rays done at the beginning and the end of your initial phase of chiropractic care, which typically lasts for 2-3 months. At this point, the second set of full spine x-rays will be taken. Your chiropractor will measure and compare the before and after x-rays. This is to determine the amount of improvement and the need for continued structural chiropractic care of maintenance care.
If there is no difference or if your chiropractor doesn’t take a comparative set of x-rays then your chiropractor is likely a traditional pain based chiropractor. Long term results will be limited and your symptoms or new symptoms are likely to return in the future. To learn more about the differences between traditional and structurally focused corrective chiropractic care CLICK HERE.
What’s The Cause?
The cause of the inflammation and likely arthritis (uneven wear) can only be corrected if the structure is changed. That doesn’t mean that your traditional chiropractic or medical treatment can’t help reduce your symptoms. If you are only seeking pain relief and are unconcerned about the potential for long-term chronic arthritis then pain based care can help. Think of them like changing your tires even though the front end alignment is still off. It’s a LOT quicker and cheaper but in the long run, your alignment is only going to get worse. You’re going to spend more replacing tires a lot quick than if you fixed the cause of the uneven wear. The problem with doing this for you spine is that unlike tires your spine is irreplaceable. Once it wears out you can’t replace it.
However, if you want to fix the cause of the problem. Fix your alignment so that your spine doesn’t wear two or three times faster, then do not make the mistake of taking your spine to a doctor who is only capable of treating pain (traditional, chiropractor, medical doctor, massage therapist, acupuncturist etc.) Don’t go to the tire shop to realign a bent car frame. You need a specialist for that.
What can I expect if I just treat the pain and don’t correct the problem?
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Joint Disease
Osteoarthritis, Spondylosis, Arthritis of the spine
Disc Bulge, Disc Herniation
Facet Joint Arthritis
All of these “diseases” are primarily a result of abnormal stress on different areas of the spine. Certainly, different types of arthritis can have multiple factors. Rheumatoid Arthritis, for example, is a result of this inflammation because of the immune system attacking the joints. While nutrition is sure to be a causative factor it is not uncommon for chiropractic to help and even eliminate symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
How do I know this?
Because Rheumatoid Arthritis often affects only a limited area. Despite the fact that Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease that logically should affect all the joints equally. It rarely does. It is not uncommon for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis to have joint pain primarily in one of only a few areas of the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis is assumed to be due to the immune system attacking the joints but why only some joints. The answer is likely because patients diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis often experience symptoms at specific areas because that is where the joints are wearing the most and as a result have the most inflammation.
Chiropractic care may not completely eliminate the Rheumatoid Arthritis, especially if part of the problem is due to nutritional deficiencies. Chiropractic care can potentially eliminate the excessive stress and wear in your spine and other joints causing excessive joint inflammation. This is why it’s important to address all areas of health when treating patients be it nutritional, spinal, exercise etc. The drugs your medical doctor recommends will often reduce the symptoms because the inflammation is synthetically decreased. But the inflammation is there for a reason and that reason is not a deficiency in anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs do not cure the disease they only mask it.
Sticking With The Car Analogy
If your oil or engine light came on in your car would you want your mechanic to just unplug the oil or engine light so you could keep driving and ignore the potential problem? Wait are you sure!? What if I told you that your car insurance would pay for it? Come on! All the “out of network” mechanics are sooo expensive! And you can’t afford to get your car fixed by some quack that insurance doesn’t’ cover. I mean it would feel so much better to drive the car without that pesky light. Always shining in your face trying to tell you there is a problem.
I hope you see where I’m going with this. Don’t be imprudent. The engine is going to blow sooner or later and then you won’t be able to fix it without an enormous price tag if you’re able to fix it at all. It may be a year or a decade but sooner or later you’re going to wish you didn’t unplug that light and had fixed the problem even if your car insurance didn’t pay for it.