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Chiropractic Care and Arthritis

Q: Dr. D, can getting adjusted cause arthritis?

A: Definitely not.  Chiropractic care actually does just the opposite:  It helps prevent and can improve degenerative arthritis. 

I’ll start by dispensing a common myth that may have caused some question around this statement.  “Cracking” your knuckles does not create arthritis.  As much as parents may despise when their kids do it, this can only truthfully be deemed as an annoyance, not a health concern.  In addition, the joints in your hand are far different than the ones in your spine.  Not only are they made up with different capsules but they alnino-liverani-418088so do not house and protect the nervous system.  It is not accurate to compare the two. 

There are a few different types of arthritis, but by far the most common form is degenerative; more commonly known as “wear and tear”.  This occurs when your joints have been damaged or stressed and the body initiates a protective repair response.  If the damage that has occurred does not get corrected, or if the stress continues to occur over a prolonged period your body attempts to stabilize the area by laying down extra calcium.  This creates osteophytes and spurring around the joints.  In addition, because of the lessened or altered movement in the joint the space becomes increasingly narrowed due to deterioration. The body will continue to lay down this calcium and narrow the joint space until the area starts moving properly again or the cause of damage is gone.   

This is where the power of chiropractic care comes in.  By initiating proper motion and function to the affected joints through adjustments, the body will positively adapt and cease the need to lay down protection.  This will create a healthier joint, prevent further deterioration and most importantly re-stimulate the nervous system to the surrounding area.  More technically, the improved motion recruits increased proprioceptive engagement (joint awareness in space) which continues the ability of the area to heal and function optimally. 

Remember, one of the foundations to life is motion.  It is absolutely essential that you keep your spine moving and in proper alignment.  With altered or impaired movement the body is unable to allow the efficient free flow of energy from the brain to the body.  This compromises your ability to heal, repair and function.  Very simply, get moving and get adjusted. 

Yours in Health, 

Dr. D 

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