Diagnosing and Treating Arthritis
Treating the Effects of Arthritis with Chiropractic Care
Treating the effects of arthritis with chiropractic care is becoming more commonly known as medical experts connect the dots between chronic health conditions and total body care. Victoria, BC Chiropractor Dr. Stephanie Louie is an expert at treating the effects of arthritis with chiropractic care, which can present as pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of range of motion.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition where there is inflammation that can affect one or more joints, with the most common type of arthritis being osteoarthritis. Arthritis usually develops slowly, but can also appear suddenly, particularly if there has been a trauma, like a sprain or broken bone.
Some clients who have been in a car accident or have a sports injury may notice arthritis creeping in, since the cartilage protecting the bones may have worn down. Once this happens, the joints are susceptible to the friction that causes inflammation.
Who Can Develop Arthritis?
Anyone can. Arthritis has commonly been thought of as an older person’s condition, but it can develop in young adults, teens and even children. It’s also more common in women and in people who are overweight. At Mind, Body Spine, Dr. Louie treats people from all walks of life and knows that it doesn’t discriminate. In many cases, it comes down to family history, but it is still often possible to lessen the effects of arthritis.
What is Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?
To understand arthritis and osteoarthritis, it is important to understand some general anatomy of the joint. Your joints are made of bone, cartilage and other materials. The purpose for the cartilage in your joints allows yours bones to glide over each other as the joint flexes and extends without damaging the bone. Cartilage is also designed to absorb shock between the joints. Since cartilage has no or little nerve supply, the stress that gets exerted on it from our day-to-day activities can cause little to no pain. Therefore, we’re able to move, walk and play sports without injuring our bones because we have that cushion all around them.
One of the most common causes of osteoarthritis is repetitive wear and tear on the cartilage in your body as well as your body’s inability to repair joint damage. Once cartilage and connective tissues are damaged, it is very hard to heal. The bones can start rubbing against one another causing friction, stiffness, pain, and swelling. Arthritis is a common, yet miserable condition, but Dr. Louie can help relieve your pain.
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
Your primary care doctor can perform initial tests and look for joint fluid, joint inflammation as well as heat and quality of range of motion around the joints. If your doctor suspects a form of arthritis, more extensive testing will follow. Using diagnostic imaging equipment like X-Rays, MRI and CT scans, your doctor or rheumatologist should be able to make a definitive diagnosis that will allow you to move forward with treatment. There tend to be many different conditions that look like arthritis at first, but it’s impossible to know without a professional diagnosis. It is therefore extremely important that you seek a professional to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.
How Does Dr. Louie Treat Arthritis?
After the official diagnosis of arthritis by a Primary Care Physician, Dr. Louie will develop a treatment plain tailored to your specific needs. Your treatment would typically include regular adjustments and gentle manipulation aimed towards realigning your body’s joints to take the strain off the damaged joint tissues and bones. If needed, Dr. Louie can also have a secondary x-ray done.
Using Mind Body Spine’s total body approach to chiropractic care, we’ll also investigate and recommend nutritional changes to combat the inflammation. Next, you’ll receive custom exercise recommendations for strengthening and toning your muscles for optimal strength and flexibility. Our approach to chiropractic care is designed to boost your overall wellness, so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
“We offer a unique, holistic approach to healthcare, stemming from ensuring one’s spine is healthy. Mind Body Spine offers full chiropractic care, which includes exercise and nutrition counseling and support. Our goal is to help patients be able to be as physically active as possible,” says Dr. Louie.
The Best Arthritis Treatment is Prevention
According to Dr. Louie, the best treatment for most conditions like arthritis is prevention. Of course, not all conditions can be prevented, but maintaining your best health with chiropractic manual therapy and targeted exercises can help greatly.
Maintaining proper alignment and movement can help to minimize the symptoms of arthritis in your joints in the long term. In some cases, it may even prevent it entirely. Modern medicine is constantly discovering more about how all parts of the body work together to keep us at our healthiest. Years ago, no one would have believed that something like brushing your teeth can keep your heart healthy, but now it’s common knowledge.
The same goes for chiropractic care. The more we maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise and give our body’s musculoskeletal system a regular tune-up, the better it will fare in the long-term. While we cannot possibly prevent every possible ailment, eating a diet of whole foods and superfoods rich in antioxidants and vitamins, making the time for regular exercise, maintaining proper posture and even something as small as getting enough sleep and enough water can go a long way towards keeping conditions like osteoarthritis at bay.
Basic At Home Remedies for People with Arthritis
Your Primary Care Physician may prescribe medications, painkillers, or other treatments like a joint injection or even surgery for severe arthritis. For DIY methods of reducing the pain and stiffness of arthritis, we recommend also trying the following basic remedies:
- Swim – Being in the water takes the pressure off your joints for a gentle yet effective form of exercise. Swimming regularly can help tone and strengthen your muscles and take stress off bones and joints.
- Use Ice Packs or Heat Packs – Depending on recommendations for your type of arthritis, heat packs or cold packs can help bring down the swelling caused by inflammation.
- Use Menthol or Capsaicin Creams – These creams can work to block the transmission of pain signals from your joints, providing temporary relief.
- Rest – It’s important to provide your joints with a good balance of exercise and rest to avoid overexertion. As time goes on, you will be able to tell when you’re about to overdo it. This is particularly important for runners, since the repetitive motion of running puts a lot of stress and pressure on the joints.
Treating the effects of arthritis with chiropractic care is one of our specialities. Diagnosed with arthritis? We’re here to support you on your wellness journey. At Mind, Body, Spine, Dr. Louie will create a treatment plan designed to suit your schedule and your lifestyle. Using a holistic approach to total body health blended with extensive chiropractic knowledge and experience, our team can help you reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, osteoarthritis and many other chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Contact our Victoria, BC clinic to book your initial consultation today.
The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a chiropractic professional assessment