What is Arthritis/Osteoarthritis ?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints in one or more areas of the body. A joint is where two bones meet. At the end of our bones is a tough but rubbery substance called cartilage. This protects our joints and allows bones to move easily against each other. There are more than a 100 different types of arthritis, all of which have different causes as well as different treatment methods.
Osteoarthritis (OA), which is the most common type of arthritis, is when cartilage begins to degrade, exposing the bones of the joint. As you can imagine, the rubbing of bones against each other can be extremely painful. What’s more concerning is that the loss of cartilage may affect the shape of the joint itself and can keep it from functioning smoothly.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is also called:
- Wear-and-tear arthritis
- Degenerative joint disease
- Degenerative arthritis
Another common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body. Because of these immune attacks, the fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints goes down. This can lead to the destruction of both bone and cartilage inside the joint. Unfortunately, there is no known cause for rheumatoid arthritis.
People with arthritis often find that medication alone doesn’t alleviate the pain. Chiropractic treatment of arthritis is focused on reducing the amount of pain you may be having and preventing further damage to your joints. A combination of treatment methods is typically used to achieve the best results. Physical activities are designed for each patient with arthritis to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint to help them regain full function in their daily lives. Since much of chiropractic treatment is focused on the joints, it is not recommended to do manipulations if the patient is experiencing a flare up.
Sometimes surgery may be appropriate to clean up damaged joint tissue or to do a full joint replacement. This is most commonly performed to replace hips and knees. Joint fusion surgeries are commonly performed if the arthritis is severe in the fingers or wrists.
Causes and risk factors
- Family history
- A job that puts stress on the joints
- Joint injury and malformation
OA is commonly seen in the elderly and is one of the leading cause of disability in adults. While it primarily develops with age, it can still be seen in children and teens. Arthritis is also more commonly seen in women than men and in those that are overweight. If you have a family history of osteoarthritis, then you may be at a higher risk for developing the condition.
Long term effects
Over time, OA can affect some of your daily activities (e.g., bathing, putting on your shoes, etc.) by causing pain, swelling, stiffness and a limited range of motion. Spinal OA can also produce tingling or weakness in your extremities. The severity of your condition will depend--some people experience no symptoms despite evidence during testing. Since OA is a slow-developing disease, it is often diagnosed in the later stages when pain becomes painful or debilitating. Therefore, it’s important to have an X-Ray if you suspect arthritis. In rare cases, damage can affect the function of your bowels and bladder.
When to seek medical care
The symptoms of arthritis usually appear gradually but can occur suddenly. OA can occur in any joint but the most commonly affected joints are in the hands, knees, hips and spine, and causes the following symptoms:
- Joint pain and stiffness, mostly in the morning
- Swelling of the joints
- Decrease in range of motion of the joints
- Redness of the skin around the joint
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause you to feel tired or experience a loss of appetite. You may also see a decrease in red blood cells (anemia) or have a slight fever. Joint deformity can occur in severe Rheumatoid arthritis, so it’s important to be treated as soon as possible.
Contact Us for Your Consultation
If you think Chiropractic treatment can help, contact us to schedule a consultation at our Singapore Clinic. The consultation includes:
- X-ray review and measurement
- Lifestyle and activity assessment
- Doctor examination
- Clinic session
- Spinal adjustment
- At-home care recommendations
If new X-Rays need to be taken, they can be done the same day (at an additional cost) as your appointment. Our doctor will also show you some results from previous patients so you can feel confident in the Chiropractic treatment we provide.
We promise to never hard-sell you, because we believe that our patients must be as committed to their treatment as our team is to their care.