Joint pain is common, affecting millions of people in the United States every year, and is usually felt in the hands, feet, knees, hips, or spine. The symptoms of joint pain can range from mild stiffness and aches in the morning to a constant, throbbing pain throughout the day. This can make it very difficult to enjoy even the most mundane tasks, much less lead an active lifestyle.
If you have problems with your joints, you may be wondering if undergoing chiropractic care for joint pain could be an effective treatment plan. While the level of effectiveness varies depending on the cause of your joint pain, in most cases, chiropractic care can help optimize the function of your joints to reduce overall pain and improve your mobility.
Below, we discuss the safety of using chiropractic care to reduce joint pain and how it works to allow you to lead a more pain-free life.
How Safe is Chiropractic Care for Joint Pain?
Chiropractic care is a safe option for reducing joint pain, especially for the young or middle-aged. When looking at overall safety for treating joint pain through chiropractic care, chiropractors can rule out a lot of causes and determine the best chiropractic treatment through a proper examination or the use of x-ray technology.
However, your chiropractor may limit what types of treatments they use when addressing certain types of joint problems. For example, chiropractic adjustments can be used as a safe, additional treatment for osteoarthritis, as well as for pain caused by joint overuse, but are not a chiropractor’s primary treatment for autoimmune, bone density, and infection causes of joint pain.
For those with joint pain who also have weakened bones due to osteoporosis, chiropractic treatment should be limited to gentle low or non-force adjusting, with an increased focus on modalities like strengthening, spinal realignment traction, muscle work, or even bracing to reduce the chances of a future fracture.
When dealing with joints that are actively inflamed due to an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chiropractic care can be used to determine what joint pain is caused by RA and what is caused by normal joint inflammation. Additionally, chiropractic care can support the areas around the RA-affected joints to improve overall pain and function.
If joint pain is due to infection, it is important to clear the infection first with your medical doctor before seeing a chiropractor.
Choosing a chiropractor who closely analyzes your current condition and medical history to determine care is one of the safest courses of action to help treat your joint pain.
Relieving Joint Pain with Chiropractic Care
A chiropractor will carefully assess your health condition to determine what is causing your stiffness and joint immobility. During your life, a joint can become damaged due to spinal misalignment, poor posture, trauma, or overuse during daily activities. For these causes, chiropractic adjustments alone won’t restore cartilage that’s been lost, but they can help ease the associated joint pain.
Chiropractic care, which focuses on spinal curvature restoration in addition to adjustments, can slow or stop the progression of degeneration and arthritis by balancing uneven pressures on the spinal structures, which cause wear and tear. Clinically, this can lead to improvements in disc degeneration and radically reduce the rate of breakdown. When paired with traditional chiropractic techniques, you will find short- and long-term relief from joint pain when you correct these global spinal misalignments.
Chiropractic care can also be used to improve muscle spasms and soft tissue tenderness to reduce joint pain and increase mobility. Throughout your treatment, the increased mobility and reduced joint stiffness tend to allow you to lead a more active lifestyle. Chiropractic care has also been known to improve nervous system function, which can help your body be better prepared to manage symptoms caused by arthritis.
One common chiropractic treatment for joint pain (outside of the spine) is known as extremity adjusting. This is an adjustment or manipulation of the joints to help restore proper function and movement. The extremities commonly treated include:
Like the spine, these areas can become immobile, causing joint pain, and whenever one part of your body is stuck and isn’t functioning properly, other parts of the body have to compensate. Although this compensation may appear to temporarily help, it is important to repair the problem so that each body part will be able to carry its normal load again.
If left untreated, long-term joint fixation could cause more serious issues, such as fibrosis (excessive fibrous tissue), nerve irritation, fluid buildup, tears in ligaments (tissues that connect bones to other bones), and more. By using extremity adjustments, they can help restore and improve joint function. This treatment can also extend the life of the joint and help keep wear and tear to a minimum.
With proven treatment methods like Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP), the doctors at PostureWorks go beyond joint mobilization and focus on keeping your body as whole and balanced as possible through spinal realignment and extremity adjusting. We do an extensive assessment of your current body alignment, medical history, and treatment goals and perform a full biomechanical analysis so that we can gain a deep understanding of the best course of action we can take to help alleviate your joint pain and bring more ease back into your daily lifestyle.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function while eliminating the source of pain and circulatory and nervous dysfunction. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive. To learn more about chiropractic care for joint pain or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks, contact us today.