The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. It may be experienced by 80% of people over 50 years of age, and can begin as early as the teenage years.
The onset can be very subtle; morning joint stiffness is often the first symptom. As the disease progresses, there is pain with movement of various joints and it is made worse by prolonged activity and relieved by rest. Common affected regions are the neck, back, hips, knees, feet and fingers.
There are two misconceptions about osteoarthritis: 1) It is a normal part of aging and 2) Nothing can be done about it.
Osteoarthritis is related to improper function and motion of the involved joints otherwise known as subluxation. Subluxation is not felt 90% of the time and as a result we may unknowingly cause joint degeneration. Every year, approximately 100,000 Americans are hospitalized and 16,500 die from anti inflammatory drug related complications. According to a UK research report in the journal PAIN, patients taking these drugs for at least two months show a risk of death at a rate of 1 in every 1,200 patients, 1 in 5 will have ulcers, about 1 in 70 have stomach pains / symptoms, and 1 in 150 have bleeding ulcers.
The role of chiropractic is to remove and correct subluxations in the spine. When the joints are free to move naturally, posture can be normalized, nerve flow can be balanced, therefore halting many arthritic episodes.