A connection between two bones in your body is a joint. Joints, together with their surrounding structures are what allow you to do all sorts of important body movements – walk, bend your knees, turn or bow your head, bend your back, bend your elbows, wiggle your hips and a lot of other necessary actions. Your joints are protected by smooth tissue called cartilage and synovium and synovial fluid, a lubricant that work together to cushion the joints to avoid the bones rubbing together and being damaged. Aging, injury, poor posture or too much body weight can cause wear and tear to your cartilage, which can precipitate a reaction that can bring damage to your joints and ultimately lead to arthritis.
How Spine Misalignments and Arthritis Develop
The human spine develops from infancy. Babies crawl before they are able to walk because this is part of their spinal muscle strengthening process. Crawling also helps maintain proper alignment in their spines as they grow. The number of times an average baby aged four years will have fallen is startling – 4,000! These include some falls and some little falls. It is easy to imagine how some of these falls can cause misalignment or subluxation in the child’s spine. The child’s body will be able to self-correct most of these subluxations and can cause no problems. However, some subluxations that are greater in magnitude will stay in that subluxated condition. If the subluxation stays for along period of time, the side where the subluxation is greatest will get increased pressure. The spine may have to compensate for this imbalanced condition. It will develop other subluxations elsewhere and distortion patterns. Meanwhile, injuries and traumas from impacts and accidents will continue as the child develops into adulthood. They can worsen and cause further damage to the spine and joints.
There will be additional pressure on the side of the vertebra where the greatest subluxation is, causing increased pressure and irritation to the affected nerve in between the vertebra. Osteoarthritis begins this way. The body, after detecting the difference in pressure, will initiate an electrical charge. This electrical charge can do one of two things: One, it interferes with the nerve flow from that nerve exiting between two vertebrae and supplies to the different organs, muscles, joints and tissues. Two, it gathers calcium and attaches them to the affected bone, causing bone spurs. The formation of bone spurs is how the body tries to reinforce an overworked and compressed area. This subluxation-degeneration process is the cause of degenerative arthritis, a damage to the joint.
Chiropractic Care for Arthritis and the Joints
Degenerative arthritis is not age related nor is it hereditary. It has to do with the amount of trauma one has gone through and how well hey have cared for their spine. Through Chiropractic may not be a cure for arthritis but it slows and oftentimes reverses the progression of arthritis after the application of chiropractic adjustments. It is not surprising to find persons in their 70s are who are into regular chiropractic care with no arthritis. On the other end of the spectrum, we find young people in their 20s are who suffer from arthritis because they ignore the proper care for their joints.
While chiropractic adjustments are the centerpiece of chiropractic care, the other aspects of chiropractic care are important as well. In the course of the chiropractic treatment, equal emphasis will be given in the areas of nutrition and nutritional supplementation, lifestyle changes, exercise, and ergonomics, They are part of the holistic approach that chiropractic adopts.
We now realize that chiropractic care should begin right at birth and continue regularly throughout one’s lifetime. Chiropractic care is about maintaining your joints and nervous system’s optimum functions and the highest level of health and quality of life.