Have arthritis? Beat the changing weather with these tips
Believe it or not, there’s no definitive proof that changes in weather can cause arthritis flare-ups. The most comprehensive hypothesis so far is that a drop in airpressure (such as when a storm passes through) allows the tissues in the joints to expand because there is less pressure being placed on them. This expansion can result in the inflammation that one might experience as arthritis.
That’s great to know, you might say, but what we can do about it? For the purpose of this article, we’ll limit our focus to the two most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 1.Osteoarthritis: This is the “wear and tear” arthritis, most commonly caused by aging as well as repetitive overuse. This results in a wearing down of the joint and protective cartilage, along with subsequent bone build up. Characteristics may include: 1. Morning stiffness in joints lasting less than an hour 2. Deep aching pain 3. Pain with movement, such walking and going up/down stairs 4. Tends to occur later in life
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): This is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, which can result in painful swelling. Diagnosing RA can be difficult, usually made through tests performed by a rheumatologist. Characteristics include: 1. Morning stiffness in joints lasting more than an hour 2. Painful joints with swelling, often symmetrical 3. Frequent fatigue and a general feeling of being ill 4. May begin at any time in life, with a rapid onset of weeks to months How Chiropractic can help Chiropractic is primarily focused on maximizing the function of the nervous system and its counterpart, the musculo-skeletal system. A multi-disciplined approach for both types of arthritis may offer the best opportunity to restore proper alignment in the joints, reduce inflammation, and restore range of motion.
In our office this may include the use of: 1.Chiropractic Adjustment: Gentle manipulation of the spine and joints in order to store proper alignment and increase motion 2. Massage Therapy: Decrease pain and inflammation, as well as improve circulation 3. Therapeutic Exercise and Stretches: Physical activity designed to promote strength and endurance 4. Ultrasound Therapy:When applied to soft tissue and joints, ultrasound can help reduce swelling and decrease pain and stiffness. Chiropractic care offers a tremendous opportunity for relief through conservative means. Additional medical intervention, especially for rheumatoid arthritis, may be needed.