Arthritis, in it’s greek origins, means “joint inflammation.” There are many forms of “joint inflammation.” There is rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and degenerative or osteoarthritis. Because of space limitations, we will only address degenerative arthritis, but know that chiropractic can and does help in the other types of arthritis.
Degenerative arthritis is just what it sounds like…the joint is worn down or degenerated. Degenerative arthritis occurs most commonly after the joint has been under abnormal stress for a long time and that results in abnormal wear on the joint. It is much like if your car tires are not in alignment. You may go for a long time with minimal issues but once things start going bad, they do so in a hurry. And, once the joint is breaking down, you can not regain what you have lost. You may improve function and bump the joint space by a few millimeters using nutrients, but the joint never returns to it’s normal functional capacity.
If the spine or pelvis has a subluxation complex, it creates nerve dysfunction or dysafferentation. This means that certain tissues do not receive the proper nerve input. As the nerve fails to function efficiently, so does the tissue that the nerve innervates. thus, if the nerve doesn’t work right, the muscle doesn’t work right. Suddenly, when the nerve doesn’t work right, the muscles fail and there becomes an muscle imbalance around the joint. Consequently, when the muscle imbalance is allowed to continue, the bones track wrong thereby stressing the joint. Over time the connective tissues breakdown and the joint becomes inflamed. The inflammation stimulates the pain nerve and the muscles in the area go into a spasm. This limits motion and the joint becomes painful.
Chiropractic can restore the proper nerve function by reducing the subluxation or misalignment. This results in the balance of muscle tissues surround the joint to be stored to normal. This allows the joint to not be as stressed and allows inflammation to settle. The less the joint inflammation, this less the pain nerve fires.