Arthritis is a condition that affects millions of people, causing disability from the pain and stiffness. Many are forced to limit or stop activities that they enjoy. It is estimated that over 46 million people suffer with arthritis, and the number is growing.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a joint disorder which involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, although there are two main types:
1. Osteoarthrits (degenerative joint disease) is the result of trauma, biomechanical stress or infection. This is the most common form.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which something triggers the immune system to attack the joints and cause inflammation. Other types of similar arthritis conditions are Psoriatic Arthritis and Gouty Arthritis.
Determining the correct type of arthritis is vital since each type requires a different type of treatment. Specific testing, including a thorough examination and lab testing, may be necessary to ascertain which type of arthritis is present.
What Causes Osteoarthrits?
Osteoarthris is caused by either major trauma or repetitive micro traumas over time. Trauma injures the joint causing it to misalign and move improperly. Over time the joint will begin to breakdown or degenerate. As the osteoarthritis becomes more severe over time, the bones start to wear down and grow bone spurs. The ligaments holding the bones together in the joint will also start to wear down. During the process, the joint and surrounding areas will become inflamed causing pain and inflammation. In addition to the pain and stiffness, the joint becomes weaker making it more susceptible to further injury.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system is attacking the joint. What is most important is what is causing the autoimmune disease. There are many causes of autoimmune disease, so determining the potential cause requires a thorough examination and testing.
How Is Arthritis Treated?
Once the specific type of arthritis is determined, an effective treatment plan can be implemented. Treatment goals will include reducing the biomechanical stress, re-aligning the joint, improving movement patterns, and reducing the associated inflammation. For Rheumatoid Arthritis, addressing the cause, which is the autoimmune component, is paramount to effective treatment and relief.
The following therapies may be included:
• Chiropractic adjustments
• Physical therapy
• Anti-inflammatory Joint injections – natural or steroids
• Anti-inflammatory medications and/or supplements – natural, NSAIDS, or steroids
At Advanced Healthcare of the Palm Beaches, we perform a thorough examination to determine which type of arthritis you have. We will then discuss with you the most appropriate treatment options available. Our team of doctors and healthcare providers will combine the best aspects of physical medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, functional medicine and nutrition to create a program specifically to meet your needs.
Call Advanced Healthcare of the Palm Beaches at 561-296-1715 to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to see if you are a candidate for this program!