Osteoarthritis is the single most common form of degenerative disease causing pain in this country, with 21 million Americans over the age of 25 suffering with it on a daily basis. That’s nearly 13 percent of our population. That means out of the last ten people you passed on the street, chances are at least one out of those ten was dealing with extreme joint pain. Debilitating as it is however, osteoarthritis is a condition that can be treated with changes in behavior. This is simply because osteoarthritis is not caused by a disease. It is the result of personal choices in our lives that can be adjusted to relieve your symptoms.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is most commonly found in your knees and hips but it can develop within any joint in your body. OA can lead to low back pain and shoulder pain that sometimes develops into headaches and in more severe cases migraines. The condition is a result of several behavioral factors that lead to the cartilage between bones wearing out either from overuse, inefficiency and imbalance. This causes the cartilage to swell and inflame adding to bone-mass reduction, wear and tear.
Why does our behavior affect our joints this way?
The straight answer is in how we abuse our bodies. In today’s busy world, we rarely find the time to eat healthy, drink enough water or exercise enough to strengthen our muscles for a good skeletal foundation. We don’t take care of ourselves the way we should, and our bodies are trying to tell us that we need to do better. When something like sciatica or whiplash for example comes into play, our bodies just want to curl up and quit. It doesn’t have to be that way.
A study from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases reports that more than 1 in 3 adults in the US have obesity. Not considered to have, but rather are well in the range of excessive weight to be labeled as obese. Our bodies were not designed to carry around such mass and as hard as we try, eventually this creates stress on our systems. With osteoarthritis, this translates to the joints. If there’s one thing to get you started on a path to physical wellness, it is to lose the weight. Your arthritis will soon follow suit.
So, what else can we do?
Our bodies are amazing machines when it comes to healing, so some simple adjustments in the way we live can do wonders.
- Exercise and reduce weight to relieve compressed and pained joints.
- Choose healthy options for meals that take into account good nutrition and weight management.
- Drink water. Follow the recommended 8 x 8 rule. 8, 8 ounce glasses a day.
- Use chiropractic care to help adjust your joints muscle memory as you heal.
- Make choices that relieve not only physical stress, but mental stress as well.
- Remove sugars from you diet, as they only add to inflammatory issues.
You can improve your osteoarthritis through diet and exercise and with a healthy balance of chiropractic care. Your joints need some relief and when it comes down to it, you are the only one who can make that happen. If you are tired of the constant pain that seems to never resolve, you have the ability to do something about it.