There are many types of arthritis that can afflict us at any time of life. Of the numerous forms of arthritis the most common, osteoarthritis, is generally related to the ageing process and is often blamed as the cause of back pain, neck pain, hip pain and many other aches and pains. In most cases osteoarthritis is due to gradual wear, tear and roughening of the cartilage covering the end of a bone. It is associated with the joint becoming deformed, misshapen and stiff with a gradual weakening of the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. Because this is a natural process it may go unnoticed for years. At times we may become aware a gradual stiffening with bony lumps slowly appearing around the joints, but this can often occur without pain. We may request x-rays or a scan to determine the severity of the wear and tear or if we feel the changes caused by arthritis are interfering with other structures potentially causing more damage.
Whilst exercise and movement are essential in maintaining healthy joints and mobility unusual stresses from abnormal activity or overuse can injure or irritate a joint causing it to become inflamed and painful.Chiropractors understand the effects of ageing and can help minimise pain using gentle styles of manipulation, mobilisation, massage, acupuncture needles, advice on exercises and postural training. Others types of arthritis are often more difficult to diagnose and may also require other tests, such as blood tests. Whilst these types of arthritis are not as common if your chiropractors suspects that you may be suffering with any of them , you will be referred to your GP for appropriate tests.