Reducing stress is important for emotional well being and physical health. Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex condition with no cure and can cause intense chronic pain. Stress only exacerbates the symptoms, affects pain perception, and weakens the body. Stress management is highly important for reducing pain. In a weakened state, an individual is more vulnerable to arthritis symptoms, like flare-ups, weakness, and fatigue. Chiropractic can help.
There are non-surgical treatments for arthritis, like medications, physical, and massage therapy that address the physical nature of the condition. By eliminating stressful triggers and making healthy behavioral/lifestyle changes a better sense of well being can be achieved.
Different emotions can run rampant:
And all of these feelings can generate intense stress on an individual. Chiropractic excels in wellness and is becoming more common for individuals to visit chiropractic clinics for treating a variety of different kinds of pain symptoms and conditions. Chiropractic adjustments provide countless benefits to those with arthritis. We’ll explore how chiropractic can help those with arthritis and give additional information along with suggestions on how to alleviate the pain.
What Chiropractic Does
A doctor of chiropractic is a health professional that focuses on wellness and optimal health instead of ailment/sickness symptoms. Their specialty aims at adjusting the spine to correct misalignments that could be pressing down on nerves and causing major disruption in the body. Regular chiropractic not only restores health throughout the body but helps alleviate back pain and any other symptoms associated with an out of alignment spine.
They also work in setting up exercise programs specific to the condition being treated along with the proper diet to utilize in assisting with the management of inflammation and pain.
Arthritis is inflammation in the body’s joints which results in pain, stiffness and limited range of movement. There are over 200 different varieties of arthritis. Generally associated with age, it can affect young people. It can strike pretty much any area of the body. Arthritis can cause damage to soft tissues and muscles.
Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common type. It comes from repeated trauma to the joints and occurs more often in the elderly.
Other forms include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis is the second common type in which the body’s immune system attacks the joint/s.
- Psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune form of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis where the body attacks itself.
- Septic arthritis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection of the joint/s.
Diagnosing arthritis involves a thorough physical examination. Rheumatologists often need help with these cases, and so a medical work-up can be done and a chiropractor could be recommended. This includes X-rays or MRIs, urine, blood analysis, and physical examinations. Having the condition properly diagnosed will help to more effectively treat the symptoms.
The most common treatment is medication, which takes down the inflammation, the swelling and reduces pain. Chiropractors can be of great help in managing arthritis. Medications work but as we’ve seen they can have long-term health risks like impaired healing, damage to the stomach lining and internal bleeding.
A chiropractor can reduce stress, and reliance on medications, all the while managing the pain and symptoms in a natural way. Chiropractic can:
- Improve range of motion
- Keeps the spine properly aligned
- Improve endurance
- Improve flexibility
- Increase strength
- Increase muscle tone
- Develop a dietary and nutritional plan to reduce inflammation
- Recommend an exercise regimen conducive to arthritis symptoms
According to the American Chiropractic Association, this is vital in managing arthritis symptoms.
Understand that chiropractic cannot cure arthritis. They can help alleviate symptoms, slow the progression and help to reduce stress levels. They will use adjustments in combination with other treatments. This can include:
- Hot and cold treatments
- Ultrasound treatments
- Electronic muscle stimulation
- Physical rehabilitation
- Magnet therapy
Water aerobics or make walking around the park/neighborhood part of a daily routine, as it promotes a healthy mind by reducing stress and anxiety. Gentle exercises like aerobic exercise are perfect because it improves mobility and helps shed a few pounds taking pressure off the joints. Exercise creates endorphins, which reduces pain and uplifts the mood.
With any type of painful condition, it’s easy to feel alone. Joining a support group can connect you with people who understand what’s going on and the emotions you’re experiencing. The community helps diminish the sense of isolation.
This focuses on calming the body and mind by making a conscious effort to relax. Even for only a few moments, you might find this technique effective at controlling the stress response. Begin by focusing on one part of the body like the hands, feet, etc.
Concentrate until the area you’re focusing on is completely free of stress or tension. Then imagine weightlessness flow through the body. Close your eyes, lie down, turn off the lights, and think of something soothing. There are no strict guidelines for relaxation. Whatever puts you in a relaxed frame of mind is the way to do it.
Warm moist heat from a shower, bath, or steam room can decrease the secretion of stress hormones and raise levels of endorphins, as aforementioned the body’s natural pain killers.
Take time for yourself
When it comes to reducing stress, balance is key. Staying active, and regular rest/sleep is vital to successful treatment. Balance needs to be in everything you do. Therefore, make time for the things you want to do.
Inflammatory diseases like arthritis have shown the best results are achieved from combating it from all angles. Working with a chiropractor and rheumatologist to combine treatments can make all the difference. A healthy diet and active exercise program will get you in the right direction toward a healthy active lifestyle. If you or a loved one are suffering from arthritis, don’t hesitate to call. We’re here to help in any way possible!
Depression and Chronic Pain