Arthritis - Gallatin Valley Chiropractic of Bozeman

Arthritis is a broad term for a number of conditions that cause joint damage in the body. One of the most common types of arthritis that involves your spine is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, and is very commonly seen by chiropractors. This is the most common joint disorder in the body, and can manifest as symptoms such as: joint pain and swelling, stiffness, locking, catching, muscle weakness, and limited movement. Although osteoarthritis can be very common, it is definitely not to be overlooked. Arthritis is a condition that only worsens the more you ignore it and neglect to treat it.

neck_xray2.jpg Arthritis is caused by the body's response to an increase in load on a joint over a long period of time. This can be caused by factors including: immobility or stiffness due to an old injury, a sedentary day job, or chronically misaligned joints in the spine. These can cause stress on the joint surfaces and ligaments that hold them together, and forces them to support a greater load than they are designed to support.

The spine is designed to have smooth motion and flexibility at each one of its 24 movable joints. Misalignment, (or subluxation,) can create a loss of motion at an individual joint. When this occurs, the spine cannot behave as a fluid chain, rather it starts to have areas that seize up, surrounded by areas which move TOO much. This creates tremendous pressure on the joints in the transition areas between the stiff areas and the flexible areas. The body's response to this pressure is to make the vertebrae larger and stronger. 

As the spine is fully matured and is not increasing in size or overall height, it creates instead, jagged outgrowths from the vertebrae are known as spurs, or osteophytes. This eventually causes the spinal soft tissues to become chronically inflamed, and the surrounding bone and joint to degenerate. This is the process known as arthritis.

At Gallatin Valley Chiropractic in Bozeman, to relieve arthritis pain we first assess for joint motion and alignment. Spinal misalignments can make the back and neck feel stiff, locked up, and painful. With chiropractic adjustments, we can restore the proper joint motion and relieve pressure from the joint a little at a time. We also try and control the inflammation using ice, heat, or over the counter medication. Lastly, we implement an exercise and/or flexibility program and functional rehab to help keep bones in place and the joints functioning properly, preventing pain, stiffness, numbness and further degeneration from occurring in the future.

-Gallatin Valley Chiropractic-

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