What’s the difference between gentle chiropractic and traditional chiropractic? It’s all in the technique used. Overall, both approaches seek to relieve musculoskeletal pain and promote optimal health. However, they differ in their methods of achieving these goals. At Advanced Wellness Solutions, we provide patients with options tailored to their specific needs and preferences. There are […]
Gentle chiropractic is a safe, nonsurgical method of arthritis pain management. Gentle chiropractic care can help reduce inflammation and increase range of motion while reducing arthritis pain.
Movement is like lubrication for the joints. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help to encourage full range of joint motion to provide safe arthritis pain management. In conjunction with the gentle chiropractic adjustment, electrical muscle stimulation is often used for immediate pain relief. In addition to in office therapies, patients are also given appropriate exercises to perform at home to promote increased joint mobility.
Arthritis is inflammation of the cartilage which causes swelling and tenderness in afflicted joints. Cartilage is the connective tissue that surrounds the ends of bones. It is dense, elastic tissue that supports and cushions the joints while helping joints to move smoothly. When cartilage becomes inflamed, joint pain and stiffness result.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While the symptoms are similar, the cause of each is dramatically different.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease.
RA is an autoimmune disease is when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. In the case of RA, the healthy cells in the cartilage cushioning the joints are attacked. The joints affected are usually in the hands, wrists, and knees. When the body’s immune system attacks the joint cartilage, it becomes inflamed, swollen and tender. Eventually, the inflammation damages the joint cartilage as well as the bones of the joint. This can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness). 3
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis.
OA is a degenerative condition that affects joint cartilage and bones. It causes pain, loss of mobility, as well as decreased muscle function and strength. Like RA, osteoarthritis causes joint pain and stiffness. It was once thought that in osteoarthritis, the joints were simply wearing out. Research has shown that OA is a complex process with many causes. It is not an inevitable part of aging experts say, but rather the result of a combination of factors.
While osteoarthritis can damage any joint, it most commonly affects joints that bear weight — like your knees, hips, feet, and spine. It often comes on gradually over months or years.2 Ten percent of men and 20% of women aged between 45 and 65 years report OA,4 with 80% of those older than 75 years showing radiographic evidence of OA.5
Treatments for Arthritis Pain
According to Scott Haldeman, MD, a neurologist in Santa Ana, California and Chairman Emeritus of the Research Council for the World Federation of Chiropractic as quoted in arthritis.org6,
Chiropractic care is one of the safest therapies you can use if you have back or neck pain due to osteoarthritis.
In addition to treating neck and back pain from osteoarthritis, gentle chiropractic treatment can also treat osteoarthritis of the hip 7 and other arthritic joints.
Gentle Chiropractic Care for arthritis pain
Gentle chiropractic care can help increase the range of motion in arthritic joints and reduce arthritic joint pain.
While gentle chiropractic care won’t repair or rebuild cartilage, it can relieve pressure on joints caused by arthritis. Gentle chiropractic care can also stop muscle spasms and tenderness caused by osteoarthritis through gentle manipulation of muscles and soft tissues surrounding arthritic joints.
Acupuncture for arthritis pain
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used for thousands of years to relieve arthritis pain. While acupuncture can’t cure or reverse the process of arthritis, a study showed it can help you feel significantly less pain and function better. 8
It’s very common to reach for over the counter (OTC) pain medication for arthritis pain management. Unfortunately, all NSAIDs (including OTC pain medication) now carry a black box warning. This is the strongest of all FDA warnings and is reserved for drugs that pose a significant risk to the population. In 2007, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement warning of the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 9 which included this warning:
“Consumers are advised that all over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, including NSAIDs, should be used in strict accordance with the label directions. If use of an OTC NSAID is needed for longer than ten days, a physician should be consulted.”
A practice based study of patients with acute and chronic low back pain found that patients receiving chiropractic manipulation as their primary treatment had significant reductions in visual analogue scale (VAS) scores within two weeks of care.10 This study also included evaluation of traditional medical management with a primary treatment using NSAIDs. The same level of pain reduction was not reported in the NSAID group until the 12-week marker.
Herbs and supplements for arthritis pain relief
There are many herbal supplements which tout anti-inflammatory properties. It’s important to exercise caution when taking supplements. Just because a product is natural does not mean it’s safe. The contents of supplements are not verified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Some supplements can interact with medications or can cause health problems.
You should always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement.
Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are supplements that reduce inflammation in the body. There is also evidence that vitamin C and fish oil may help with arthritis pain while providing other health benefits.
Glucosamine sulfate supplements have unique anti-inflammatory effects. In some laboratory tests, it demonstrated a protective effect on the cartilage as well. Chondroitin sulfate supplements also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some laboratory studies suggest that chondroitin sulfate may slow cartilage breakdown associated with osteoarthritis and even stimulate cartilage growth.11
Trigger point injections for arthritis pain relief
If chiropractic treatment alone does not provide adequate pain relief, the medical professionals at Advanced Wellness Solutions may recommend a trigger-point injection. A trigger-point injection usually contains an anesthetic and a steroid to immediately help alleviate arthritis pain. These injections are rarely a standalone treatment. They work best when combined with other conservative treatment methods such as chiropractic care.
Trigger point injection therapy can provide immediate and ongoing relief from pain in the targeted area while chiropractic treatments address the underlying cause of the pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for arthritis pain relief
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) delivers a small electric current to specific nerves. Tens units provide neuromodulation treatments which can ease pain with minimal risks and offer an alternative to pain medication for arthritis pain management. According to Arthritis.org 12
These devices are generally safe. However, they involve sending electrical impulses though your body. So it’s important to talk with your doctor first if you have a pacemaker, another implanted device, are pregnant, have epilepsy, or have a heart problem.
Topical medications for arthritis pain relief
Topical medications that do not contain NSAIDs that Advanced Wellness Solutions recommends are:
- CryoDerm Gel: It contains almost 300% more of the active ingredient and pain reliever menthol than other topical pain relievers. Menthol is used clinically as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. It creates a cold sensation on the skin, by activating the peripheral cold receptors.
- Biofreeze Professional: Biofreeze is greaseless, stainless and has a vanishing scent. It is an optimized, fast-acting proprietary formula.
Topical NSAIDS are now available without a prescription. Diclofenac sodium 1% gel (Voltaren Arthritis Pain) is now available at many pharmacies. A 2016 Cochrane review 14 concluded, “Topical diclofenac and topical ketoprofen can provide good levels of pain relief beyond carrier in osteoarthritis for a minority of people, but there is no evidence for other chronic painful conditions.”
Safe Arthritis Pain Management
When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, gentle chiropractic care can keep you moving.
Accepting new chiropractic patients. Call (772) 403-7640 to schedule your appointment.
We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
You can find safe arthritis pain management at Advanced Wellness Solutions. Effective gentle chiropractic care can help to relieve the pain and slow the damage to cartilage from osteoarthritis. Gentle chiropractic maximizes the function of arthritic joints by encouraging full range of joint motion.
Sometimes referred to as “arthritis of the neck,” cervical spondylosis is an age related cause of neck pain.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then you may have cervical spondylosis.
- Are you over 65?
- Have you played a lot of sports throughout your life?
- Have you had a fair amount of physical trauma in your past such as multiple motor vehicle accidents?
What is cervical spondylosis?
Cervical spondylosis is the medical term for wear & tear of your cervical discs and joints. Cervical spondylosis occurs when trauma or age causes the discs to shrink and bone spurs to form and other signs of osteoarthritis to appear.
What are your risk factors for cervical spondylosis?
- Multiple neck injuries
- Jobs that have strenuous physical demands
Cervical spondylosis is very common and worsens with age. There are some suggestions that there is a genetic component to the severity of degeneration that will occur. This means that if someone in your family has serious arthritic symptoms in their neck then you may be more likely to develop more severe cervical spondylosis.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
“More than 90 percent of people older than age 65 have evidence of cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis that can be seen on neck X-rays.”
What are the symptoms of cervical spondylosis?
Often cervical spondylosis produces very few symptoms. When symptoms do occur they are often pain in stiffness located in the area of the neck.
However symptoms can arise from the bone spurs and disc height loss associated with cervical spondylosis. Bone spurs and loss of disc height can narrow the space required by the spinal cord and nerve roots.
If this space is compromised it can cause symptoms that present as:
- Numbness or tingling
- Loss of balance
- Loss of reflexes, decreased sensation and loss of muscle strength along one part of the arm
- Loss of bladder or bowel control.
If you are experiencing sudden numbness, loss of strength or loss of bladder or bowel control seek emergency medical help as soon as possible.
What causes cervical spondylosis?
There are many causes for cervical spondylosis and all increase in severity with age. The most common causes of cervical spondylosis are:
- Dehydrated discs
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Stiff ligaments
What are the treatments for cervical spondylosis?
Treatments for cervical spondylosis are geared toward pain relief and motion preservation.
Chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce the loss of motion in cases not presenting with worsening neurological symptoms.
The treatments available for cervical spondylosis are:
- Chiropractic adjustments (in cases not presenting with worsening neurological symptoms)
- Range of motion exercises
- Cervical stretches
- Cervical traction
- Pain medication
- Steroid injections
- And in cases of severe neurological symptoms surgery
A word of caution to anyone experiencing cervical spondylosis/arthritis in the neck. Cervical traction should only be done under direct supervision of a medical professional! Even at home units leave the potential for serious harm and should only be used under a professional’s guidance. The infomercials and online ads make it look easy to use, but please check with your healthcare provider to see if this treatment is right for you.
If you live in or near Stuart, Fl and are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis symptoms, please contact Advanced Wellness Solutions to schedule an appointment. If you’re outside this area, please contact a local chiropractor.