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Chiropractic Care



Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that affects the joints, especially in older individuals. This disease is often chronic and mostly targets large joints, such as the knees, ankles, and hips.

Most experts used to describe OA as a mechanical (wear and tear) process that leads to the degeneration of bones and cartilage of the articulations; however, recent findings suggest that inflammation may play a bigger role than initially thought.

On this page, we will briefly discuss the causes of osteoarthritis, its symptoms, and treatment options. After that, we will cover everything there is to know about the role of chiropractic care in this condition.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

The exact underlying cause of OA is not yet determined, but scientists believe it’s the accumulation of microtrauma that occurs during a patient’s life.

This degeneration of the joint structure is subclinical (does not present with symptoms) until the damage is extensive, and that’s when patients start to experience pain and a decreased range of motion.

Risk factors for OA include joint malformation, age, previous trauma to the joint, obesity, and poor posture.

The most common joint affected by Osteoarthritis today is the knee and it’s mainly found in people over 45 years of age. OA was found to be more prevalent in females then males.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

As explained, osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, which means it can present with several signs and symptoms that vary in severity and frequency from one patient to another.

Nevertheless, here are the classical symptoms of OA:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness (pain when touching the affected joint)
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased articular range of motion
  • Immobility
  • Crepitus (joints making cracking sounds)
  • Joint enlargement

One specific description of OA’s pain is that it is less intense when the patient wakes up and becomes worse during the day.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis

The treatment of osteoarthritis is tailored to every patient, depending on their history and physical exam findings. The main goal of treatment would be to use conservative modalities to promote a decrease in inflammation, reduction in pain levels, improving range of motion of the joints, and promoting self management of symptoms.

Here are the possible treatment options for OA:

Conservative Care

Because OA is not a full-blown inflammatory condition, physicians avoid the prescription of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).While different medications are prescribed to slow down the progression of inflammatory responses, today’s research shows there is not one treatment that will stop the progression of OA.

Conservative care consists of teaching our patients all about the disease to see what they can do to control the symptoms or make themselves feel better when flare ups occur. Things such as exercise, weight loss, anti-inflammatories, and modification of daily activities are often discussed at your visit at Spine & Sport Center.


Research shows that regular physical activity can reduce the severity of OA by strengthening the muscles surrounding the affected joints. This also relieves the stiffness caused by OA.

Weight loss

As mentioned earlier, obesity is a major risk factor for OA; thus, shedding a few pounds can take some pressure off the joints, which in many cases is sufficient to decrease the frequency of flare-ups.

Thermotherapy or cryotherapy

Applying thermotherapy (heat therapy) or cryotherapy (cold therapy) to painful joints reduces inflammation and the release of certain pro-inflammatory compounds that cause pain (e.g., prostaglandins, leukotrienes, cytokines).

Natural remedies

Some compounds have proven their efficacy in controlling the symptoms of OA in many patients.

Substances such as green tea, fish oil, ginger, and glucosamine can all tamper down inflammation and the associated symptoms.

How Chiropractic care can help with bone disorders

1.      Lowers the risk of injuries

Maintaining balance and coordination is crucial to prevent injuries, but it’s often difficult to do because of muscle atrophy and reduced articular range of motion.

For this reason, your Chiropractor will supervise and recommend the practice of certain exercises that specifically target the muscles responsible for the standing position.

The frequency and intensity of these exercises will be determined after careful evaluation of the patient’s strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, a stretching is often the first thing beginners perform, which entails stretching your tight muscles to get some more range of motion in your joints.

Each time you get too comfortable with a certain exercise, your Chiropractor will recommend a group of other workouts that increase the stress placed on your muscles and joints.

Here is a list of some of these exercises:

  • Flamingo stand
  • Back and side leg raises
  • Marching in place
  • Sit to stands

2.      Post-op rehabilitation

Another use of chiropractic care is in the phase of post-operative management. When patients undergo surgical procedures to replace faulty joints or defective bones, they will not adapt to their new prosthesis right away.

These individuals need months of chiropractic care to gain neural adaptation and become comfortable with their new device.

Fortunately, and with the right planning and execution, most people get back to their daily routine in a matter of weeks with the aid of physical rehabilitation.

3.      Post-amputation rehabilitation

The psychological distress and physical debilitation that accompany limb amputation are extremely overwhelming for people, which is why these individuals require psychological and occupational therapy to ease up their recovery.

This involves planning weekly sessions to train the new amputee on the basics of moving around with their prosthetic limb and how to properly take care of the residual tissue to prevent infections.

Additionally, these individuals are taught about the functions and limitations of their prosthetic limbs, especially if they engage in various physical activities, such as running, swimming, or cycling.

Researchers found that chiropractic care accelerates the recovery of amputees and allows them to get back to their normal lives in a timely manner.

4.      Prevents injuries at home

Aside from taking care of the damage and trying to minimize its consequences, chiropractors can also develop preventive plans.

After visiting Spine & Sport Center, the chiropractor can come up with suggestions about some modifications at home to decrease the risk of injury.

For instance, your therapist may recommend the installation of safety devices (e.g., grab bars, walk-in bathtubs), the removal of certain objects, or even the redecoration of the house.

Takeaway message

Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that causes a lot of suffering to patients, but it can be managed with the right therapeutic approach.

We hope that this page managed to highlight the ins and outs of Osteoarthritis and how Chiropractic care can help with its management.

If you still have any queries, feel free to call/text us or use the contact us page!