How Can a Chiropractor Help With Arthritis?
Chiropractic has long given relief from symptoms of arthritis. There is a vicious cycle of pain and loss of mobility that comes with arthritis. It works like this; You have arthritis and as a result joint pain, the joint pain causes you to move less, because you move less there is loss of mobility, as you lose mobility your arthritis worsens and you have more pain, the joint pain causes you to move less... and on and on. Chiropractic works against arthritis to improve mobility and lessen pain. It works like this; You receive a chiropractic adjustment, the adjustment increases the range of motion in the arthritic joint, increased movement without pain means you will move more, when you move more arthritis is slowed or halted from progressing (some effects of arthritis are even reversed), you receive a chiropractic adjustment, the adjustment increases mobility... and so on. So instead of following a negative feedback loop and getting worse and worse chiropractic helps you to follow a positive feedback loop and get better and better.
Keep Moving to Fight the Effects of Aging
A study in the Journal of Sports Chiropractic & Rehabilitation states that there seems to be a direct association between the loss of strength and muscle mass as people age.
This may not be news to you but what is important is that there is no inherent change in the muscle tissue itself. In other words the loss of physical power and muscle mass are a result of lifestyle not an inevitable result of aging. Studies show that the loss of strength cannot only be maintained but can be reversed under the proper exercise program.
So, what does this mean to you? It means that if you are young and you are not exercising you should be considering an exercise program to help maintain your health as you age. If you are not so young and not exercising all is not lost. You can begin a program and reap the benefits as though you were young. If you are exercising, no matter what your age, keep up the good work.
Wearing High Heels May Lead to Knee Arthritis
Although millions of women wear high-heeled shoes every day, little is known about the effects of these shoes on the joints in the legs. This study investigated the amount of force applied to the leg joints of 20 women who wore high-heeled shoes.
Subjects walked with their own high-heeled shoes and barefoot. Measurements showed increased force across the knee and hip joints and a greater compressive force on the central compartment of the knee (an average of 23% more force applied) when walking in high heels compared with barefoot walking.
Excessive force to the knee caused by walking in high heels may contribute to degenerative changes in the knee joint and other joints in the leg. These findings, when coupled with the observation that osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common in women as in men, suggest the need for appropriate clinical prevention strategies and cultural behavior modifications. Ask your chiropractor about ways to avoid the potential damage high heels can cause.
Smokers More Likely to Develop Severe Arthritis
Chronic cigarette smoking has been associated with a number of health risks, including emphysema, throat and lung cancer, and birth defects. A study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases suggests that smoking may also influence the development and severity of arthritis.
Cigarette smoking history was gathered by way of self-reported questionnaires, and complete physical evaluations identified the presence and severity of arthritis. Smokers who reported at least 25 "pack years" (a certain number of packs of cigarettes smoked equaled one pack year) were more likely to display characteristics of arthritis, including swollen/tender joints and factors contributing to the development of rheumatoid arthritis (chronic joint inflammation producing pain and progressive deformity).
Although the percentage of Americans who smoke has declined by almost 50% in the last 20 years, millions of people continue to smoke and put themselves at risk for a number of life-threatening conditions. If you are a smoker, consider the risks. Modifying or eliminating your smoking habit may have a significant effect on your future health.
Saag KG. Cigarette smoking and rheumatoid arthritis severity. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Diseases, 1997, vol. 56, pp463-69.
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