There are good and bad days when you are struggling with degenerative joint disease. Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease will make you feel old some days and like your natural self on other days. Luckily, there is chiropractic care, a natural treatment to help manage and relieve you of the symptoms of degenerative joint disease.
What Is Degenerative Joint Disease?
Degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis is the condition where a joint begins to wear out throughout an individual’s life. A person experiencing degenerative joint disease is likely to notice that the joints become less flexible, while also experiencing pain in the affected joint(s).
In most cases, it leads to limitations caused by certain movements as well as grinding sensations. To confirm the development of osteoarthritis, you need to be examined by a doctor and may have to undergo an X-ray. This will radiographically ascertain that the symptoms you experience are due to osteoarthritis.
Causes Of Degenerative Joint Disease
The cause of degenerative joint disease is unknown most of the time. Primarily, it is a disease that may develop due to aging. However, mechanical, chemical, genetic and metabolic factors can contribute to the development of degenerative joint disease. Some of its risk factors may include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Increasing age
- Injury to the join
- Hormonal or metabolic disorders
- Joint and bone disorder present at birth
- Repetitive stressful use of joint
- Deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint
Symptoms Of Degenerative Joint Disease
Any joint in the body that is misaligned or not moving properly will degenerate. This degeneration may result in osteoarthritis. This disease is presented in individuals through symptoms that may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Limited range of motion
- Crackling or crunching noise when the joint moves
- Joint swelling
- Joint pain, often worsened by movement
- Stiffness in the morning
Treat Degenerative Joint Disease With Chiropractic Care
Using the best possible care possible, chiropractors can help you treat the symptoms of degenerative joint disease. For every patient with this disease, there is an individualized treatment plan. Some of these plans may include massage therapy, exercise routines, chiropractic spinal adjustments, dietary changes and supplementation.
In a broader sense, the symptoms of degenerative joint disease can be managed through:
1. Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal decompression is one of the most effective approaches to treat degenerative joint disease. It is non-invasive and does not require medication or downtime. This form of chiropractic care works by using a computer-controlled table to reverse gravity within the spine. The table slowly moves in positions that will help relieve pressure on spinal nerves.
Spinal decompression therapy is designed to ensure the normal flow of nutritional fluids and also eliminate the pain of compressed nerves which extends from the spine to other areas of the body.
2. Manual Therapy
The primary form of treatment chiropractors perform is known as manual therapy. It is an effective treatment for the symptoms of degenerative joint disease. This therapy involves a hands-on approach to treating the affected joint. It also often comes in the form of an adjustment.
Adjustment involves a specific mechanical force that is applied to the manipulated joint. This, in turn, causes adhesions to be broken, muscles to relax, nerves to fire and a reduction in the pain experienced. With chiropractic manipulation, the pain and loss of mobility that arises from the degenerative joint disease can be managed.
3. Exercise Therapy
Exercise therapy is another important chiropractic treatment procedure for degenerative joint disease. It is a recommendation of specific exercises that are meant to strengthen specific muscles around the affected joint.
To maximize the efficiency of movement and balance the loads around joints, muscles are meant to help the joint move in a precise manner. It is quite common these days that these muscles become unbalanced.
Some muscles get underworked while others get overworked. This lack of balance in the muscles may alter the amount of force the joint experiences. As time goes on, the joint wears out, and pain is experienced. Exercise therapy can help relieve the pain.
4. Mechanical Aids
The use of mechanical aids is another treatment option a chiropractor can recommend helping you manage the symptoms of degenerative joint disease. It involves using a variety of mechanical devices known as orthoses. These devices are effective at protecting the joints and providing support to people with degenerative joint disease.
Orthoses are made from plastic, foam, elastic and lightweight metal. This type of aid allows some specific movement in the affected joints and does not cause restriction to nearby joints. Its function is quite similar to how braces or sprints help in joint alignment and proper distribution of weight.
5. Lifestyle Management
Chiropractic care for degenerative joint disease is more than exercise therapy, manual therapy and the use of mechanical aids. A chiropractic treatment plan may stipulate that the patient should avoid performing excess daily tasks. Lifestyle management may involve avoiding or supporting stressful joint positions or engaging in lighter tasks instead of heavy ones.
Additionally, persons with degenerative joint disease should try to stay within their recommended weight. This will help avoid stress on the joint. It is also believed that losing weight can prevent this disease from affecting the knees.
Benefits Of Chiropractic Care For Degenerative Joint Disease
Symptoms of degenerative joint disease vary for every person with the condition, and therefore the benefits of treating and managing the symptoms of this condition will vary.
Depending on personal experience of the symptoms and pain, the benefits of chiropractic care may include:
- Reduced pain
- Restoration of the spine’s normal movement and other affected joints of the body
- Increased range of motion in the affected joints
- Improved blood circulation throughout the body
- Relieved nervous, skeletal and muscular tension
Although chiropractic care can not stop you from getting old, it may help you stop feeling old. Degenerative joint disease can result in pain and many other problems. Fortunately, through chiropractic care, joint degeneration can be treated and managed even if it cannot be reversed.