What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is defined as inflammation of the joints. While there are over 100 different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types. Some rheumatic arthritis’s, such as Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, happen because your immune system is actively attacking your own body, specifically your tissues and organs.
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
When you see a doctor and they believe you have any type of arthritis, they will first go through family history, then set you up with urine and blood tests. You may even have to follow up with some x-rays to see how far your arthritis has progressed. You will then be referred to a rheumatologist, as they specialize in the treatment of arthritis. There is currently no cure for arthritis. Because it is a life-long disease, you will have to find the best way to manage it that works best for you.
Different Types of Drug Treatment for Arthritis
Analgesics: These medications can help you combat the pain, but they do not help with your inflammation. Types of analgesics are: Tylenol, opioids, codeine, OxyContin, etc. Some of these require a prescription from your doctor, while some do not.
Biologics: For arthritis, these are the best drugs possible for you. They work by targeting the cause of your inflammation. Sadly, there are different areas where the source of the inflammation is, so choosing a biologic is hard and you may not see results until you find the one that is specifically working for you. Different types of biologics are: Actemra, Cimzia, Enbrel, Humira, Kineret, Orencia, Remicade, and Rituxan.
Corticosteroids: These are medications that are used specifically to target the inflammation. This works so well because they are similar to your body’s natural anti-inflammatories, Cortisol. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory agents, but it also suppresses your immune system. While that is a good thing for helping to calm down your immune system from attacking your body, it also leaves you at risk for infection and sickness.
Other Types of Treatment
Because there is no cure for any type of arthritis, you will be living with this disease forever. Some people do not want to live on medications to get by for their entire life. There are other ways to help combat symptoms and pains of arthritis by using a more holistic approach.
Aromatherapy: It may sound odd that this is on the list, but aromatherapy is good at combating pain, reducing your anxiety, and rejuvenation. For the oils to remain effective, it is important that you limit the length of your exposure. Here are some different scents to help with pain and relaxation.
- Vanilla: Used for relaxation
- Peppermint, Jasmine, Citrus: Used to make you feel more aware
- Green Apple: Used to relieve joint pain
Changing Your Diet: Different types of food are known to cause inflammation. It’s best to know what foods are good and bad to eat while you have arthritis.
Good for you: Fish, Soybeans, Oils, Cherries, Dairy, Broccoli, Green Tea, Citrus Fruits, Whole Grains, Beans, Garlic, and Nuts.
Bad for you: Sugar, Pizza, Cheese, Red Meat, Pasta, Frozen Breakfast Products, Cookies, Donuts, Crackers, Salad Dressings, White Bread, Instant Mashed Potatoes, Cereals, Gluten products, Aspartame, and Alcohol.
Physical Therapy: If your pain is limiting you from functioning and moving correctly, a physical therapist is a great option. A physical therapist can help you improve your mobility and restore the use of your affected joints, along with increasing your strength to support your joints. They will discuss the best treatment and exercise options and then you should only have to see them a couple times a month, unless there is a change in your health.
Chiropractic Care: A chiropractor can help with your joint pain by manipulating the soft tissue to help control muscle spasms and relieve the tenderness. Just like physical therapy, the goal is to restore function. It is said that chiropractic care can help stop your arthritis from developing or getting worse. Chiropractic care also helps relieve pain and stiffness. Because your body is attacking itself, getting a chiropractic treatment which will help your nervous system function better. Your nervous system properly working helps to ensure that your body is efficiently communicating.
Here are some benefits of chiropractic care for arthritis:
- Reduced pain and discomfort
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved range of motion
- Improved flexibility
- Increased activity and lifestyle
Here are some patient testimonials from Hankins Chiropractic Center in Illinois:
Dr Curt has helped my daughter tremendously with her rheumatoid arthritis she was diagnosed with two years ago. Her knees were so swollen she had trouble walking. The medical specialist wanted to put her on harmful drugs that would damage her kidneys and possibly other organs. Now thanks to dr Curt she is doing fine and on no drugs at all! He also has helped me with many issues I’ve had including shoulder pain, knee pain, stomache and sleeping problems.
– Ben Stevens
From Better Health Chiropractic:
“Stroke survivor since 1990, acute scoliosis and arthritis in spine, cervical (neck) spinal area also in lower back.
Treatment has enabled me to move about almost normally with caution to bending too much to cause too much strain on entire spine. Mechanical stimulation realigns spine.”
– Barbara T.
“When I started going to Dr. Beavers it was because I was having aches and pain which I believed was from moving boxes and having arthritis. I also hurt my shoulder which was very painful. Dr. Beavers did x-rays and then explained that I was out of joint in some places and my shoulder showed signs of swelling.
Dr. Beavers saw me 2-3 times a week for a few months and gave me exercises to do at home. I could feel myself being more active and flexible after just a few sessions. I go twice a month for maintenance now.
After 3 years with maintenance sessions I feel like a new person, when I feel sore I schedule an appointment and feel great again, Dr. Beavers keeps my body going and moving into my 60 years. I recommend Dr. Beavers to all my friends; I am proof that his methods work and his staff is excellent to work with!”
– Barbara A.
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Rath, L. Chiropractic Care for Arthritis. Arthritis Foundation.
Understanding arthritis and how you could help manage arthritis pain with routine chiropractic care. The Joint Chiropractic.
Chiropractic Testimonials. Better Health Chiropractic.
ISIS Chiropractic Centres
Macon, B. Reed-Guy, L. 2017. Arthritis. Healthline.
Chappel, M. Aromatherapy for Arthritis Relief. Arthritis Foundation.
Delzell, E. The Best Ways to Ease Knee Pain Without Drugs. Arthritis Foundation.
Drug Types. Arthritis Foundation.
Arthritis Diet. Arthritis Foundation.