If you’ve had back pain or a stiff neck, whether from arthritis or an injury, you’ve likely considered seeing a chiropractor. While it’s true that chiropractors manipulate or adjust the spine to improve pain and mobility, the benefits may extend beyond the back and neck. By using varying degrees of force in an effort to adjust misaligned joints, chiropractors try to improve the relationship between the spine and nervous system, which they believe may affect the function of all the systems in the body.
But what should you expect from a chiropractor visit and is it safe for arthritis? If you’re looking for a non-medication way to take the edge off of those painful joints, chiropractic care may be for you, as long as you remember to listen to your body, and find a chiropractor that will listen to you and your wishes.
Most of what chiropractors do today is gentler than “cracking” backs or “popping” necks into place. In fact, there are many different techniques that chiropractors use to adjust the spine, joints and muscles with varying degrees of force.
If you have back, neck or other joint pain due to osteoarthritis, chiropractic is one of the safest therapies you can use, explains Scott Haldeman, MD, a neurologist in Santa Ana, California and Chairman Emeritus of the Research Council for the World Federation of Chiropractic.
During your first visit, the chiropractor should take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam of every joint to determine what approaches are right for you. This will determine if chiropractic care is right for you and what the specific care may be most helpful.
In my office, I like to use a broad range of therapies, tools and exercises to help your body do the best with what you’ve got. Chiropractors focus on the relationships between structure and function; if the structure of a joint is not able to function optimally (like it arthritis), then it can’t work as it was designed, which can leave to pain, dysfunction and further degeneration. So, helping the joints move as well as they can with keep them as healthy as they can be.
One of the best ways to help with the pain and stiffness of degenerative osteoarthritis is to use deep heat and joint mobilization; the heat will help to increase the blood circulation to the region to increase the nutrient availability and the joint mobilization helps to “slosh” the viscous synovial fluid over the cartilage lining the joints (this is how the cartilage with its poor blood supply gets nutrients).
Heat and hand and foot rubs? Sounds pretty nice, right?
If this therapy speaks to you, consider a Cozy Up, or a Cozy Up 2 session. 30 -45 minutes of our Rejuvenation Room; resting on the far-infared heated jade stone therapy mat, wearing hand and foot masks of intensely moisturizing blend of macadamia nut and rosehip oils, shea and coconut butters while wearing heated and weighted mitts and booties. (the Cozy 2 includes 15 min of joint mobilization as well.) Deep heating may help improve circulation and soothe arthritis and muscle pain.