I sit down with patients on their first visit to Stover Chiropractic, P.C. to talk over their concerns so I can understand why they are seeking my help. I often hear something like this, “I know what is wrong with my neck. I have arthritis, my doctor told me three years ago. He said ’That’s what happens when you get old.’” Sound familiar? There are a lot of things to be said about this, but I want take a moment to break down an unintended miscommunication here. Let me rephrase it as the doctor in this story really meant it according to what we know about arthritis. He should have said, “You’ve got arthritis in your neck, Mrs. Jones. It is more common to see it in older people because we’ve had more time and more opportunities to wear out our joints over a lifetime.” That is much different isn’t it?
What is the important difference? It is now inferring arthritis is not strictly caused by age, and it looks like it is due to things that cause our joints to wear out. Isn’t the arthritis that wears out a joint? No, arthritis is the effect of something that causes a joint to wear out. The cause of joint wear and tear is usually abnormal joint mechanics. Simply put that means “abnormal wear and tear from a joint that is not lined up correctly and doesn’t move as it should.” Imagine gears that are not lined up correctly. They would wear out due to improper fit, friction, and an unbalanced spine. This happens in our joints.
I’ve seen a 12 year old with degeneration in their spine (I had it at 23 years old when I first went to chiropractor) and I’ve seen 85 year olds with spines that look better than that same 18 year old! My point is, the severity of arthritis is more closely related to the amount of time since the cause occurred. Which is why an 18 year old who fell out of a tree at 7 years old, may have obvious degenerative changes (arthritis).
Now how does chiropractic care help? Chiropractic corrects the misalignments (called subluxations) that cause the breakdown and wear (arthritis) in the joints. By realigning joints, restoring proper motion, and improving stability, we can reduce or eliminate pain and most likely stop (or dramatically slow) the progression of arthritis. Why? Because arthritis (in its non-metabolic forms) is a result of joint misalignment, not the cause. Chiropractors will find the cause if there is one.
When you come to Stover Chiropractic, P.C. we will examine your spine, nervous system, and musculoskeletal system to find the cause of your arthritis. The use of computerized scans and x-rays can be used to evaluate your health status.