Most people think that arthritis conditions only affect the elderly, but the sad reality is that we see a larger and larger number of younger patients at our office with the beginnings of osteoarthritic spinal degeneration.
Osteoarthritis is most often touted as a "wear and tear" phenomena which, for years, has been associated with aging. This type of arthritis is the most wide-spread and affects the most number of people. In fact, it can be detected in 35% of the general population by the age of 30, although my experience tells me that this number should be closer to 70%. In people 70 years or age or older, this condition is virtually universal and expected, unfortunately. However, this doesnt have to be the case!
A few years ago, a study by J.S. Lawrence, a U.S. osteoarthritis specialist, even revealed that osteoarthritis can be noted on a x-ray in 10% of 15-year-olds. This is NOT ok!
Osteoarthritis has been characterized clinically by pain, deformity, limitation of movement, and eventually by disability. It has been universally accepted as a simple and inescapable part of aging. Any notion or thought even remotely associated with slowing down, stopping, or reversing this condition has been looked upon as absolute "heresy". Chiropractic care has an answer for this, so lets look at how this could be and how the anatomy here works:
Repairing the Joints
Joints in the body are areas where two bones come together for the purpose of movements. The end of these bones are lined with a very special material called cartilage, which is designed in such a way as to prevent friction, so that each movement is smooth. (As a matter of fact, the surface of cartilage that lines your joints is so perfect as to be almost frictionless). It is also a self-regenerating mehanism. The whole joint is then bathed continuously in a special synovial fluid, which acts like a lubricant.
Essentially, osteoarthritis is your body's attempt to repair something that has been damaged or under undue stress, such as from a vertebral subluxation -- a change in the alignment of function of some of the bones of the spine.
These vertebrae in the spine are separated by discs, which also undergo changes. A disc tends to decrease in size and fissures from its material lead to instability. The normal body's repair phenomena is called into play in an attempt to stabilize an area. As a result, we see the formation of calcium depositis solidifying the area and bone spurs due to abnormal stresses and pulling of the surrounding tissues. Arthritis is now no longer seen in terms of an actual disease; it is viewed as your body's attempt to repair an area of your spine which has become unstable.
Arthritis is not caused by aging. It is caused by some of the vertbrae in the spine being subluxated and never corrected, among other reasons. Typically, after seeing the arthritic changes on the x-ray, we discover from the patients that they can trace those areas back to earlier traumatic injuries they may have even experienced from childhood or decades prior that originally caused those subluxations to begin with.
It is possible to not only slow down this condition but also to arrest it and actually reverse the damage! It's important to get checked to determine whether or not you have a subluxation, not only from the perspective of ensuring normal health and function of the nervous system, but also to make certain that there is no error in the fuction of the vertebrae. Consult your family chiropractor to find out whether your arthritis can be arresred or reversed and if you are in the Crosby, Highlands, Huffman areas, we at Crosby Chiropractic Center would be more than happy to help with your health needs and get you back to feeling young again!