Chiropractic, Pain and Degeneration

Millions of people experience more than 100 days of pain a year. Arthritis, migraines, back and neck problems, sciatica, disc disease, nerve disorders and other conditions disable more people than either heart disease or cancer.

Pain has a purpose, it is a warning signal, like a fire alarm, telling you something is wrong and should be attended to, or a part should not be moved for healing (like a broken arm or damaged joint).

We often equate pain with disease instead of seeing it as the body’s early warning system, calling attention to potential problems. Instead… people grab the nearest painkillers. “The warning signs are then ignored and the symptoms are treated, sometimes allowing the problem to escalate,” says Norman Cousins, author and faculty member of the UCLA School of Medicine.

A large cause of pain in the senior population is arthritis. There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis or OA , also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common arthritis of all; almost everyone over the age of 50 has a touch of it.

OA is considered the result of too much spinal stress that creates wear and tear on the joints. It’s often a sign that the spinal column is unbalanced and not moving properly. Bone growths called “lipping” and “spurring” which are the signs of OA may be a body defense – the body is trying to strengthen an area by building up more bone. Sometimes the boney growth may compress nerves, cause pain and affect the health of internal organs.

The standard medical approach to pain and degeneration is treatment of symptoms-a lifetime of taking drugs, heat, hot packs or exercise in warm water and similar treatments-are suggested. If a joint becomes overly deteriorated then surgery may be considered.

Aspirin, while it may reduce pain, stiffness and inflammation, often requires eight to 24 tablets a day and can cause stomach irritation, bleeding and ulcers. Drugs such as Tylenol™, Advil™, Naprosyn™, and Indocin™, can cause kidney damage and hemorrhage of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and small intestine. According to Newsweek Magazine, approximately 10,000 arthritic sufferers die every year from the gastrointestinal complications of various arthritis drugs. Steroids with prolonged use, may cause thinning and severe weakening of the bones.

The chiropractic approach to pain and arthritis is to normalize posture, and restore normal movement to the joints of the body. This can help to relieve spinal stress and pain due to abnormal spinal mechanics. Studies have shown that up to 90% of osteoarthritis sufferers improved under chiropractic care. By beginning to normalize spinal motion, patients can help prevent further degeneration of the spinal joints, and start to reduce pain levels. This is done without drugs and surgery and all the risks associated with drugs and surgery. For more information please call Siegenthaler Chiropractic at 569-6099.