Osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis, usually begins presenting itself when we reach our 50s. It is most common in weight bearing joints such as the knee and hips, and in the hands of those who have a history of work or hobbies that puts increased joint stress in the hands. Weight loss can help for those who are overweight, in order to reduce the stress on those joints. Postural balance and muscular support are also very therapeutic. As well, proper protein intake and absorption will help in bony formation, and digestive function often needs to be addressed. Additional build up of calcium in an affected joint can paradoxically indicate inappropriate calcium absorption and utilization in the bones and joints. Dietary change and nutritional support are often useful. At times this condition can be so severe that referral for surgical repair of the joint may be necessary. The key, then, is to begin the process of examination and evaluation sooner, rather than later.
Rheumatoid arthritis can begin earlier in life than osteoarthritis, and it is often associated with a severe infection, or some other form of stress. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, and can migrate from joint to joint, often causing eventual joint deformities. Ineffective adrenal function appears to have some causative influence in its development and therapy to improve adrenal function can help manage the arthritic condition. Self-help measures have also proven beneficial in managing the pain, through the reduction and elimination of excessive stress (physical, emotional, and dietary). Specialized lab tests and x-rays can also help identify rheumatoid arthritis.
Gouty arthritis cases are 95% male, and 5% female. High levels of uric acid are cited as a primary trigger of gouty arthritis, a substance generally eliminated from the body via the kidneys. Therefore, kidney dysfunction should be addressed therapeutically. Bowel function also helps in the whole process of toxic elimination, and can help in pain control of gout. Diet, protein digestion, and nutritional support may necessitate attention. Gouty arthritis can have extremely painful bouts. It may be so painful that bed rest is necessary. Lab tests and x-rays can help in the diagnosis of this disorder.
Determining what type of joint dysfunction is developing, and eliminating its causative factors, can go a long way toward pain reduction and reestablishment of normal joint ability. Deciding that arthritis is incurable and that you’ll just have to “live with it” isn’t necessarily your only choice any more.
(Dr. Richard Hanson, chiropractor in Jamestown, New York, can be reached at (716)664-0445. Most major insurances are now being accepted.)