Arthritis occurs when the joint surfaces begin to break down, usually as a result of wear and tear, but sometimes as a result of injury or even surgery. Over time, the slick cartilage tissue that covers the joint surfaces begins to wear away, causing mounting friction and resulting in inflammation inside the joints.
Most people have osteoarthritis — a degeneration of joint cartilage and bone— that becomes more common with age. Osteoarthritis is also more common among athletes and others who place repetitive strain on their joints.
The most common symptom of arthritis is joint pain, especially when weight is placed on the joint or the joint is moved. Other symptoms include joint stiffness and reduced range of motion in the joint, as well as tenderness and swelling around the joint, and sometimes, the joint may feel warmer or appear slightly red.
Symptoms of arthritis tend to become much worse without proper and prompt attention. Over time, the joint may become misshapen and deformed, resulting in a permanent loss of mobility.
Most people think of arthritis symptoms occurring in the knees, hips, ankles, or hands, but arthritis can happen in any joint, including the joints of the spine. Arthritis in the spine can cause pain and other symptoms in the limbs as well as chronic headaches, usually as a result of related inflammation and nerve irritation and compression.
Dr. Bendis begins treatment by carefully evaluating the patient’s specific symptoms with a hands-on evaluation to pinpoint the source of symptoms.
Treatment options may include adjustments to relieve pain and irritation in the nerves, therapeutic exercises and stretches, and recommendations for lifestyle changes to reduce friction and strain on the affected joints.
Each treatment plan will be carefully developed to relieve pain and inflammation while also restoring strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the joint.
Ongoing chiropractic treatment of arthritis can help many patients avoid long-term use of pain medications as well as more invasive treatment options like joint replacement surgery.
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