Sometimes, when the cooler weather appears, you notice a “flare-up” in your joints. Alternatively, you may feel painful cramps in your hands when working too many hours at your desk. Is this a result of aging? Is what you are experiencing arthritis? Below, we explore the causes of arthritis and discuss both immediate and lifestyle treatments to prevent arthritis without the use of prescribed medications.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an informal categorization of more than 100 different kinds of diseases that affect people of varying ages and can cause pain and debilitation in every joint of the body. However, the two most predominant types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs as the result of wear-and-tear damage done to your joint’s cartilage. Cartilage functions as a cushion to the ends of your bones and produces a nearly frictionless joint motion.
However, accruing enough damage to the cartilage can cause bone to grind directly onto another bone, resulting in pain and restricted movement. Wear and tear gradually occur over the course many years, although there are cases in which osteoarthritis is hastened by a joint injury or infection.
Additionally, osteoarthritis also affects the entire joint, causing changes in the bones by deteriorating the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone, holding the joint together. As a result, it triggers inflammation of the joint lining.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane enclosing all the joint parts. As a result, this lining, called the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed and swollen. Over time, the disease process can gradually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
5 Common Risk Factors for Arthritis
Some types of arthritis occur because of your family’s genetics. Therefore, some individuals are inherently more likely to develop arthritis if their parents or siblings have the disorder. Furthermore, even if a person’s genetics do not innately carry the gene, they can be more susceptible to environmental factors that trigger arthritis.
Although arthritis can occur in various age brackets, the risk of developing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis increases with age.
Unfortunately, women are biologically more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis. However, most of the individuals suffering from gout—another common type of arthritis—are men.
Previous Joint Injury
Have you ever experienced a sports or exercise injury? People who have previously injured a joint, even in adolescence, are more likely to eventually develop arthritis in that joint.
Carrying excess weight puts a greater stress on your joints, particularly the knees, hips, and spine. As a result, people with obesity are at a greater risk of developing arthritis.
How to Help Prevent Arthritis
It is important to take care of your body, especially if you are at risk for developing arthritis. Even if your genetics make your body more susceptible to arthritis, there are steps towards arthritis prevention! Below are four immediate and lifestyle changes to make without the use of prescription medications.
Chiropractic Adjustments and Spinal Re-Engineering
Receiving chiropractic adjustments to subluxated areas in your body, as well as incorporating targeted spinal re-engineering exercises can help re-establish proper spinal alignment and boost your overall health and function. This alleviates pressure on the discs in your spine and ligaments, allowing for reduction in nerve pressure and any associated pain or symptoms.
Extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. Each pound you gain adds nearly four pounds of stress on your knees and puts six times the pressure on your hips. Additionally, high blood sugar can stiffen the tissue that supports your joints and make them more sensitive to stress.
We recommend eating 75% “off the vine,” meaning that you eliminate processed and artificial foods from your everyday diet. Additionally, incorporate fish high in Omega-3s in your diet including salmon, trout, and mackerel. Omega-3s have many health benefits and may reduce inflammation.
Exercise in Alignment and Avoid Injury
Just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week helps joints stay limber and strengthens the muscles that support your knees and hips. Focus on low-impact exercises like walking, cycling, or swimming. Do not forget to stretch! Gentle stretching can even help improve your range of motion and keep your joints limber.
An injured joint is more likely to develop arthritis than one that was never injured. Therefore, wear protective gear when playing sports and always lift with your knees and hips, not your back.
Remove Chemical Stress
Removing chemical stress from your body can significantly help. One major way to do so is by quitting your smoking habits. Smoking puts stress on tissues that protect your joints and can lead to arthritis pain.
Additionally, we recommend completing a 10- to 28-day cleanse twice a year to flush any remaining toxins from your body. In addition, drink 16oz of water first thing in the morning to help hydrate your body.
Arthritis Treatments in Raleigh with Team Chiropractic
Anyone can crack a back, neck, or knuckles. However, only a spinal engineer can truly fix the spinal issues you are facing and generate the greatest long-term relief. At Team Chiropractic, our team of qualified spinal engineers works hard to create a custom treatment plan according to what your body needs for long-term restoration.
With over 25 years of service, we are the leading spinal adjustment practice in the Raleigh area and are uniquely suited to help relieve your lower back pain through safe, professional spinal adjustment. Our Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioners (CCEP) and Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians (CCSP) enable us to correct the overall biomechanics, which enables you to hold your correction.
We believe in the six essentials to healthy living: spiritual/mental alignment, physical alignment, nutritional alignment, exercise in alignment, rest in alignment, and removing chemical stress. By offering both services and products that adhere to the six essentials, we help promote an overall health and wellness treatment for every client who comes through our doors.
If you or someone you know is struggling with joint pain and arthritis, we are here to help! Contact us online today or give us a call at 919-788-8881 to schedule your initial appointment and x-ray. We look forward to helping restore your health.