ARTHRITIS & SPINAL DEGENERATION
When most people hear the word ARTHRITIS they picture in their mind an old person with deformed fingers and hands unable to move and walk and bound to a chair. Well, this isn’t the type of arthrtitis I am talking about. I am talking about Osteoarthritis that is more commonly associated with “wear and tear” which has for years been associated with aging. As your chiropractor Lake Forest CA and chiropractor Laguna Niguel, I am seeing more and more young adults with beginning signs of arthritis in their spine. If this is associated with aging, then why are these younger patients presenting with signs of Arthritis?
You may not believe this, but out of all the illnesses that plague mankind, this type of arthritis is the most widespread. Recent studies indicate that this type may be detected in about 35% of the general population by the age of 30. Another study showed that it can be seen on X-ray of 10% of 15 year olds. I have seen more than that percentage in my clinical experience of recent years. Historically, arthritis has always been regarded as a slowly progressive disorder most often seen in the elderly population and which affects the weight-bearing joints like the knees, ankles, hips, spine, etc. It has also traditionally been viewed as an integral part of aging. That this is something you get automatically when you age. Then why is it being seen more and more in children and younger adults?
Essentially, osteoarthritis is a well designed, self-initiated, self-contained remodeling process. It is your own body attempting to repair a damaged or physically altered joint that has been under undue physical stress. So, arthritis in the spine is a deterioration process initiated by the body to repair joints that have lost their normal bio-mechanical movement pattern. The bones of the spine are called vertebra and they are separated from one another by a cartilage called a disc which is a joint allowing us to move in all different directions. In the spine, misalignments of the vertebrae change the normal bio-mechanics and movement of each joint complex (vertebra-disc-vertebra.) This leads to an unstable joint complex which then initiates the body’s “repair” process of attempting to stabilize an unstable region by forming bone spurs (calcium deposits,) and microfissures and decrease in the size of the discs between the vertebrae.
This degenerative process undergoes 4 distinct phases each with its own signs and symptoms. The point I am making is that this “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis has nothing to do with normal aging and may present itself at any age if there are enough of these vertebral subluxations in the spine that go unchecked and uncorrected. Numerous studies out of Canada and the US in recent years have shown positive results in patients who have received Chiropractic care on an ongoing maintenance basis. The breakdown process of arthritis was shown to slow down considerably and even stop in those patients as compared to those who did not receive Chiropractic care. This is huge!
As your chiropractor Lake Forest CA here at Lakeview Chiropractic & Wellness Center, I really believe in prevention and maintenance as a true form of healthcare. Think about it. Isn’t it better to prevent illness before it happens by engaging in healthy lifestyle choices than to wait till its too late and you are already in pain and desperately reaching for pain medications that will not solve anything other than to give you some temporary relief by masking your pain until it comes back again? Intervention is always more costly. It will cost you your precious time and efforts…time away from work, time away from doing fun things with your friends and family and a lot of effort to get you on the road to recovery and back to your normal life.
As your chiropractor Lake Forest CA here at Lakeview Chiropractic & Wellness Center, I emphasize preventative Chiropractic care for the entire family especially children because they are constantly active falling, bumping, bruising, running, climbing, jumping and being a “kid” causing misalignments of their spine. Bring your whole family and come join me for some excellent chiropractic care to help maintain the integrity and health of you and your family’s spine so you can enjoy your life free of pain.