Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis

Your chiropractor plays an essential role in the detection and prevention of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, enabling you to enjoy tonicity and mobility throughout your life.

Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are two types of bone problems often associated with aging. However these disorders are not inevitable: it is entirely possible to avoid them. Your chiropractor will play a key role in the detection and prevention of these diseases, enabling you to enjoy tonicity and mobility throughout your life.

Osteoarthritis

 
A wearing away of the joints

Osteoarthritis could be described as a wearing away of the joints of the human body. It is caused by an accumulation of calcium salts that gradually solidify joints, making them increasingly immobile and misshapen.

We tend to associate osteoarthritis with the large joints (knee or hip), when in fact it also affects smaller joints.  It is a particular threat to the 24 joint segments of the spinal column, and here it can have a seriously debilitating effect as the spinal column is the most important ‘cog in the wheel’ of the body, being involved in most everyday movements.
  

Osteoarthritis can encourage subluxations

The less mobile the joint, the more vulnerable it is to calcium deposits. This is the reason why subluxation may be the first step towards the wearing away of the joint (subluxation can be caused by a fall or an awkward twist of the body).

If subluxation is not corrected in time, the vertebral joint gradually solidifies and eventually becomes misshapen. This causes pain and it results in the spinal column curving out of shape. The body ages prematurely.

Chiropractic returns mobility

In the case of an already established case of osteoarthritis, the work of the chiropractor will involve correcting the badly-positioned joints in   order to restore greater mobility. This prevents further deterioration of the spinal column.

It is in prevention that the role of the chiropractor is crucial; he/she will detect blockages or vertebral displacement and return joint mobility. In this way, the chiropractor works to prevent the onset of the solidification process.

Patients receiving regular chiropractic care will remain flexible, with a straighter, more erect posture; in a word, younger.

Osteoporosis

 

The brittle bone disease

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that results in the reduction of bone mass. The word osteoporosis means "porous bones" : the bones weaken and are at greater risk of fracture following a fall or a blow.  Fractures may even occur spontaneously.

Osteoporosis is also known as the "silent thief" because the disease develops without one noticing. It eventually manifests itself after years in the following ways:

  • loss of mobility
  • vertebral displacement (causing a back hump)
  • height loss
  • fractures (hip, wrist, spine).

 

Risk factors for osteoporosis

Women are more at risk of this disease than men due to the fact that a reduction in bone density occurs during the menopause.

The risk increases if you have a family history of osteoporosis, you lead a sedentary life, or if you have had a hysterectomy. 

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a low calcium diet or prolonged use of certain medications including oral or intravenous corticosteroids  may also contribute to the loss of bone density.
  

Chiropractic: key to prevention

Although osteoporosis is still difficult to treat, thanks to a set of preventive measures, the dangers associated with this disease can be reduced.

Your chiropractor can do further tests (measuring bone density etc.) that will help you to identify the steps that you can take to protect the health of your bones. In particular, your chiropractor can provide you with dietary advice about foods that are rich in calcium.

Regular physical exercise is also an important factor in the prevention of osteoporosis, because movement helps to reduce the loss of bone density. However, it is essential that any movement does not cause pain.

Your chiropractor can put together a personalized exercise program which will ensure the health of your joints, and balance your spine and pelvis, so that you can go about your exercise in comfort.

If you do decide to follow a hormonal treatment, you need to be aware that this only serves to slow down bone loss, without stopping it completely. Chiropractic is an important additional weapon in the battle against the progression of this disease.


References:
 
  • Messinger-Rapport B.J., Thacker H.L., Prevention for the older woman. Mobility: a practical guide to managing osteoarthritis and falls, Part 6, Geriatrics, 2003 Jul; 58(7):22-9.
  • Jamison J.R., Geraghty B., Keating G., Livingstone K., Osteoporosis screening and prevention in the chiropractic clinic, J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1988 Oct; 11(5): 390-5.
  • Lukert B.P., Heap S.W., Glucocorticoide-induced osteoporosis, pathogenesis and management, Ann Int Med 1990; 112: 352-364.
  • Smith R., Exercise and Osteoporosis, BR Med J 1985 ; 290 :1163-1164.
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FAQ
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I suffer sciatica. The doctors tell me that it is caused by a herniated disc and I need surgery. Can Chiropractic treatment help?

Unfortunately, the success rate of these operations is low. And while there is always a doctor willing to operate, once the operation is done there is no turning back.

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