For decades, osteoarthritis has been considered a part of aging. But not anymore. Recent research points out that older people don’t have to suffer from arthritic pain. And, surprisingly, people much younger than 65 can develop osteoarthritis.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA), or Degenerative joint disease (DJD), affects more than 20 million Americans and is more common in women than in men. The disease affects the cartilage—slippery tissue on the ends of bones that meet in a joint. Normally, cartilage helps bones glide over one another. In an Osteoarthritis (OA) patient, however, the cartilage is broken down and eventually wears away.
As a result, instead of gliding, bones rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion.1 Although the majority of patients with Osteoarthritis (OA) are 65 and older, recent research shows that osteoarthritis is not a by-product of aging. Family history of Osteoarthritis (OA), being overweight, lack of exercise, and prior joint injuries are suggested as Osteoarthritis (OA) risk factors.
The signs ofOsteoarthritis (OA)include:
- Steady or intermittent joint pain
- Joint stiffness after sitting, sleeping, or otherwise not moving for a long time
- Swelling or tenderness in the joints
- A crunching feeling or the sound of bones rubbing against each other.
How Can Chiropractic Help Osteoarthritis (OA) ?
Chiropractic Adjustments relieve the pain and improve joint function and proper exercises strengthen the muscular support around the joints which improves and maintains joint mobility and function. In addition, exercise helps control weight. If a sore or swollen joint prevents you from exercising, pain-relief options, such as applying heat or cold to the affected area are beneficial.
Should Osteoarthritis Patients Exercise?
Exercise is one of the best forms of Osteoarthritis (OA) treatment— and prevention. It strengthens the muscular support around the joints and improves and maintains joint mobility and function. In addition, exercise helps control weight and improves the patient’s mood and outlook— important factors influencing the severity of the symptoms.
If you suffer from Osteoarthritis (OA), consider the following exercise tips:
- Low-impact or non-weight-bearing activities, such as walking, stationary training, and light weight training work best for OA patients.
- Use strengthening exercises if the key muscle groups that relate to the function of the joints are weakened by the degeneration.
- If you are overweight, start exercising carefully, so as not to put too much stress on the knee and ankle joints.
- Stair climbing, water aerobics, Theraband workouts, and similar exercises will help to keep the joints mobile without straining them.
- Learn to read the body’s signals and know when to stop, slow down, or rest.
- 1. Osteoarthritis: Handout on Health. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. July 2002.
Please feel free to leave a comment below and remember to keep yourself up to date with what is going on at Belvidere Chiropractic Center. Make sure you subscribe to Belvidere Chiropractic’s RSS Feed or to our Email Updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIN.