WAYNE M. FICHTER JR.: Arthritis pain and what chiropractic can do

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According to the Centers for disease Control, just in the United States alone, 23 percent of all adults, or over 54 million people, have some form of arthritis. The term arthritis refers to more than 100 diseases and conditions affecting the joints. You can have joint pain, swelling, redness and the joint may become hot. The cause of arthritis is not none, but many think it is caused by an autoimmune response from the body. The bodyís immune system is attacking the lining of the joint.

If you break down the word arthritis, ďarthĒ means joint, and ďitisí means inflammation of. So, it makes sense that arthritis is the inflammation of a joint. When this swelling occurs over a period of time, pressure is created, which then causes pain and swelling. If itís not treated, the joint damage can occur over time.

Since the arthritis attacks joints, it makes perfect sense to think chiropractic adjustments would be beneficial to arthritic patients. Chiropractors focus on the relationships between structure and function. If a joint is not right then it canít work properly. The place where chiropractic expertise really shines is in maximizing the function of the arthritic joint. My goal is to restore proper joint function for the patient, so they can have a healthier lifestyle.

Iíll be the first to admit that arthritis canít be cured, even with chiropractic treatments. What we can do is help slow the process the damage arthritis creates to the joint. If a joint is out of alignment and fixated, itís not working the way it should. The improper alignment causes the joint surface to rub together causing symptoms. Chiropractic treatments has been found to relax muscles, improve range of motion, and improve joint coordination. My experience, arthritic patients respond better to low force adjusting techniques. If the joint is already inflamed and swollen, you donít want to place a high amount of force into the joint.

Along with low force chiropractic adjustments I have found that high quality anti-inflammatory supplementation works extremely well with arthritis patients. You have to reduce the inflammation around the joint that is causing pressure to the joint.

As I said earlier, we canít cure arthritis, but we can do things to help slow the progress of the disease.

• ē ē

Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur díAlene. (208) 966-4425.

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