Hi, my name is Greg Shirley. As a Doctor of Chiropractic, commonly referred to as a chiropractor, I utilize a therapy called joint manipulation (or adjustment) to treat my patients. Most folks know that we chiropractors treat ailments like lower back pain and headaches. What many find surprising is that I also treat other musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis. Arthritis is especially responsive to Chiropractic treatments since it affects the joints, nerves, cartridge and muscles of the area affected. These just happen to be the parts of the body we work on during treatment.
No Silver Bullet for Arthritis Pain
But before I get too far into this discussion, let me state for the record; “there is no cure for arthritis”. There are various treatments, but unfortunately, no cure. The different forms of treatments vary from drugs to massage therapy to exercise therapy to chiropractic. While each of these offers benefits, the real improvement in mobility and pain level is the result of a combination approach.
Drugs can reduce the inflammation and pain for a brief period, but they don’t address the underlying cause of the condition. Also, some medicines, like NSAIDs, can cause problems like bleeding and liver damage if taken excessively or for extended periods of time.
Massage therapy is heavenly when done correctly and relaxes the muscles and stimulates circulation, but it does not treat the nerves and joints that are causing the actual arthritis pain.
Exercise is very important for keeping an arthritis patient mobile and active, but exercise also produces wear and tear on the arthritic joints.
Chiropractic can blend all these into a complete system of treatment that keeps the arthritis pain sufferer active with reduced pain regardless of age.
How do we do this? Many arthritis patients’ problems stem from joints where the cartilage has broken down to some degree. This leads to a joint that feels locked up to some degree. We refer to this condition as subluxated. Nice word, right? Actually it’s just a fancy way of saying that the joint is not correctly aligned. If your knees and ankles snap and pop as you head to the bathroom in the morning, you know what I’m talking about. This can be the result of a fall, sprain or simply getting older. This mis-alignment irritates the surrounding nerves and muscles causing pain.
Since the joint is out of alignment, I very gently coax the bones back into their proper position. This takes the pressure off of the surrounding tissue and nerves, giving the entire joint system an opportunity to heal. Done properly, the patient will need less pain medication, be able to exercise more with less pain and greater range of motion, and spend more time relaxing during the message.
For more information on Chiropractic services in Conway and Carolina Forest, check out my blog.