“I’ve been told I have a lot of arthritis in my spine…can you still help me?”
Not a month goes by when I’m not asked that question by a patient. Usually an older patient – a senior citizen – but sometimes I’m asked by a middle aged patients as well.
Any question about arthritis and pain is a very, very understandable question
I welcome any question about arthritis, because arthritis is very confusing to people, and it scares them. When they hear the word arthritis, they hear a word that sounds like a painful and permanent disease process..but that’s not what it has to be for most people.
Arthritis, as scary as it sounds, is just an old word for “joint inflammation” or “joint swelling.” For a lot of situations, it’s not a real diagnosis that gets to the heart of the patient’s problem.
I feel so strongly about this topic, that I’ve written a few other articles on arthritis here:
- Arthritis, why we should ban this word when it comes to most joint pain
- Will a straight neck give you arthritis?
But let’s get back to the question, “I have arthritis, can chiropractic still help me?”
First, let’s just say we’re talking about osteoarthritis, or joint break down due to stress. Not another another arthritis, like Lupus or Rheumatoid, which are disorders of the immune system.
The arthritis we’re talking about is the common joint breakdown that many people experience.
What do patients really mean when they ask a question about arthritis?
Now, let’s translate the question into what people really mean. Usually what they mean when they ask if I can help them is:
- Can you help me get out of pain even though my doctor said I have arthritis?
But for a certain percentage of my patients it can also mean:
- Can you help me get active again even though I have arthritis?
- Can you help my spine be healthier even though I have arthritis?
- Can I see a positive change in my spine and posture even though I have arthritis?
In other words, if your doctor told you have arthritis, are you living with a condition that you can’t improve?
So, what’s the answer?
Yes, if you have arthritis, we can still help you – and here’s why
- Your pain may not actually be coming from your arthritis.
And I know this because I’ve worked with many, many patients who had “arthritis” on an x-ray who’s pain went away after their gentle chiropractic care. That’s what I write about here.
In other words, just because you have arthritis on an x-ray doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of pain.
- Depending on how bad your arthritis is on the x-ray – what we call degeneration – we can still see changes in your alignment.
Those changes may not be as quick or as dramatic for a younger person with less joint damage, but changes are still possible.
To see an example of what I mean, please go ahead and refer to the video posted above.