“Arthritis” likely is a familiar term, but did you know there are several different types that occur for various reasons and mean different things for your health? One kind of arthritis affecting an estimated 32.5 million American adults is osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, when it occurs in the knee, the developing friction can lead to severe pain, stiffness, and mobility limitations that affect quality of life. Fortunately, chiropractors treat several painful knee conditions, including osteoarthritis.
All joints involve bones meeting at a juncture that is wrapped in tissue and filled with fluid. Well-functioning joints provide a full range of motion and correct alignment that maintains normal regenerative bone health. When this functionality is thrown off, joints begin to wear and tear under undue stress. This causes osteoarthritis, which is the body’s protective mechanism when joint cartilage and the underlying bone break down due to age or injury.
Osteoarthritis—occurring mostly in the spine, knees, and hips—negatively affects the joint cartilage, tissue, and fluid, and they get worn out. This impedes joint motion and function and worsens degradation. After experiencing these imbalances over time, the body attempts to stabilize itself by laying down “extra” bone where it isn’t normally present. These boney increases further limit joint motion and function and lead to the discomfort of progressive pain, stiffness, and even joint and bone disfiguration.
Knee pain is serious, so it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Untreated knee pain can make you less physically active and impact your quality of life. In fact, painful knees affect most daily activities, including walking, getting up and sitting down, using stairs, pursuing active hobbies, and even just getting out of bed—basically everything you do throughout the day. Having this pain can lead to weight gain, muscle loss, impaired coordination, and increased susceptibility to future injuries.
Chiropractic adjustments are the ideal solution if your knee pain is causing mobility issues because the goal is to improve your overall posture and reduce joint restrictions. As the cartilage degrades in the knee and causes osteoarthritis, the joint becomes inflamed and stiffens. Traditional medical routes for pain relief include medications or surgery, both of which cause unwanted side effects and complications. Visiting a chiropractor for knee pain can help strengthen your knees with non-invasive and natural methods that improve range of motion and maintain overall health that helps you avoid pain.
The chiropractic understanding of the musculoskeletal system can determine why you’re in pain. “A key part of treating knee pain is to also improve hip and foot function,” explains Dr. Rick Gross of Quality Care Chiropractic. “The foot and hip are the decision-maker joints, and the knee just follows along. Many times, the other joints don’t hurt, but it’s their dysfunction that contributes to the knee problem. We offer advanced hip, knee, and foot adjustments that are extremely effective.”
Chiropractic treatment for osteoarthritis focuses on pain reduction and enhancing functional activities, so chiropractors offer patients varied options beyond spine and limb manipulations. Dr. Gross mentions, “The treatments we offer for knee pain include gentle joint adjustments, anti-inflammatory MLS Laser, Kinesio taping, Graston technique for ligament and muscle repair, and high-quality custom orthotic shoe inserts.”
For patients with osteoarthritis, these chiropractic treatment options greatly benefit their condition, often helping them reduce or even eliminate the need for drug-based pain management.
“We also consider diet and exercise in preventing and treating osteoarthritis,” adds Dr. Gross. “One of our top picks for nutrition is an anti-inflammatory diet, which is primarily vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. We also recommend taking anti-inflammatory supplements, such as fish oils, and general supplements, such as Vitamin D3, as well as magnesium and probiotics to help support the healing process. For exercise, the best option we have found is using the B3 Bands to boost your workouts and make all your activities more effective.”
Chiropractic care also helps patients’ overall health on a secondary emotional level. With the care, their pain levels decrease and their ability to have full range of motion increases, which allows them to resume meaningful activities and get back to their lives.
Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but consistently reintroducing proper motion, function, and alignment to the joint will slow the condition.
“We do not expect to reverse arthritic changes in the bones and joints since the damage has already been done,” says Dr. Gross, “but we can slow down the progression of the arthritis, relieve the pain, and improve the function of the knee joint.”
If people regularly consulted chiropractors to assess joint issues and get regular adjustments to proactively correct problems instead of waiting for symptoms and signs of degradation, life and health could be much different. “Consider getting adjustments before the pain even starts,” encourages Dr. Gross. “Getting chiropractic care sooner rather than later helps with prevention as well.”
If you or anyone you know is suffering from knee pain that could be the result of osteoarthritis, contact us at Quality Care Chiropractic in Aurora, IL, at (630) 499-2225. We can answer your questions and help you get in step on your way back whole-body health.Schedule an Appointment