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AFor decades, osteoarthritis has been considered a part of aging. But now we consider it an inflammatory process. Recent research points out that older people don’t have to suffer from osteoarthritic pain. And, surprisingly, people much younger than 65 can develop osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA), or degenerative joint disease, affects the cartilage—slippery tissue on the ends of bones that meet in a joint. Normally, cartilage helps bones glide over one another. In an OA patient, however, the cartilage is broken down and eventually wears away. As a result bones rub against each other instead of gliding. This causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion. Although the majority of patients with OA are 65 and older, recent research shows that osteoarthritis is not a by-product of aging.

The signs of OA include:

  • Steady or intermittent joint pain
  • Joint stiffness after sitting, sleeping, or otherwise not moving for a long time
  • Swelling or tenderness in the joints
  • A crunching feeling or the sound of bones rubbing against each other.

Timely diagnosis and treatment can help manage pain, improve function, and slow the degeneration. As inflammation and mechanical dysfunction is improved, the OA symptoms also improve.

Movement is one of the best forms of OA treatment—and prevention. It strengthens the muscular support around the joints and improves and maintains joint mobility and function. In addition, exercise helps control weight and improve the patient’s mood and outlook—important factors influencing the severity of the symptoms.

The other important factor is nutrition. Overall reduction in inflammation can play important roles in OA prevention and treatment. (Read more on Inflammation and Natural Pain Relievers) Through changes to your daily diet as well as some herbs or supplements, your overall inflammatory load can be reduced.

Our doctors at LGCWC are trained to relieve the pain and improve joint function through natural therapies, such as chiropractic adjustments, exercises, soft tissue techniques and nutrition. We can’t undo the arthritic changes that have already been made but we can slow them down and improve your function. The next time you shrug off some pain as “just getting old” give LGCWC a call; we can help.

American Chiropractic Association

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