Arthritis and Chronic Pain
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means joint inflammation and there are over 100 different types of arthritis that can affect both young and old people.1
Arthritis can affect different parts of the body and each type has a different cause. It is a group of conditions involving damage to the joints. In some instances it can also affect the soft tissues of the body such as ligaments, lungs and heart valves.
The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), gout and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). 2 Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in people older than fifty-five years. 3, 9
Chiropractic- how can it help arthritis?
Chiropractic seeks to help improve the body’s alignment and joint mobility thus helping offset health problems that might accompany arthritis. Advice is given regarding lifestyle changes and individualized exercise programs that will:
- Help you restore the lost range of motion to your joints
- Improve your flexibility and endurance
- Increase your muscle tone and strength
Chiropractic can also give you nutrition and supplementation advice that can be helpful in controlling and reducing joint inflammation. Research indicates exercise and diet is important in reducing arthritic pain.1, 2, 4
Proper weight and a healthy immune system are both important factors in limiting the devastating effects of all forms of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The results from a three year study measuring the immune systems of people under chiropractic care as compared to those in the general population found those under chiropractic care had a 200% greater immune competence.5
Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute and professor of medicine at New York University, measured the immune systems of people under chiropractic care as compared to those in the general population and those with cancer and other serious diseases. In his initial three-year study of 107 individuals who had been under chiropractic care for five years or more, the chiropractic patients were found to have a 200% greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic care, and 400% greater immune competence than people with cancer and other serious diseases.5
Research indicating Chiropractic is effective for chronic spinal pain:
“There is strong evidence that manipulation is more effective than a placebo treatment for chronic low-back pain or than usual care by the general practitioner, bed rest, analgesics and massage.”6 “…improvement in all patients at three years was about 29% more in those treated by chiropractors than in those treated by the hospitals. The beneficial effect of chiropractic on pain was particularly clear.”7 “Manipulative therapy and physiotherapy are better than general practitioner and placebo treatment. Furthermore, manipulative therapy is slightly better than physiotherapy after 12 months.”8
“patients who have chronic mechanical spinal pain syndromes and received spinal manipulation gained significant broad-based beneficial short-term and long-term outcomes.”9
“Chronic neck show clinically important improvements from a course of spinal manipulation or mobilization at 6, 12, and up to 104 weeks post treatment.”10
Chiropractors can play an important role in management of arthritis and Chronic Pain. Start enjoying what’s most important in life again.
1. Questions and Answers about Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. February 2002. Available from http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/arthritis/artrheu.htm
2. Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Jan. 1998, revised Nov. 1999. Available from http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/arthritis/rahandout.htm
3. AIHW, Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions across the life stages. In Arthritis series no. 18. Cat. No. PHE 173. AIHW 2014: Canberra.
4. Questions and Answers about Arthritis and Exercise. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. May 2001. Available from http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/arthritis/arthexfs.htm
5. Pero R. “Medical Researcher Excited By CBSRF Project Results.” The Chiropractic Journal, August 1989; 32.
6. Van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Bouter LM. Conservative treatment of acute and chronic nonspecific low back pain. Spine 1997; 22:2128-56
7. Meade T W, Dyer S et al 1995. Randomised Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatients Management for Low Back Pain Results from Extended Follow Up, BMJ 311: 349-351
8. Koes BW, Assendelft WJJ, van der Heijden GJMG et al. Spinal manipulation and mobilisation for back and neck pain: a blinded review. BMJ 1991a; 363:1298-1303
9. Long-Term Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Medication, Acupuncture, and Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Mechanical Spinal Pain Syndromes. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jan); 28 (1): 3–11
10. Chronic Mechanical Neck Pain in Adults Treated by Manual Therapy: A Systematic Review of Change Scores in Randomized Clinical Trials. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2007 (Mar); 30 (3): 215–227
11. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2004-2005). National Health Survey: Summary of Results, N. 4364.0. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.