Chiropractic Treatment for Osteoarthritis in Lanham, MD
What Is Osteoarthritis, and What Causes This Condition?
While there are over 200 known types of arthritis, approximately 27 million Americans are living with osteoarthritis. It’s estimated that one out of two adults will develop osteoarthritis in their knees within their lifetime, making it the most common chronic condition affecting the joints. Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis usually affecting people over the age of 65. As we age, the cartilage found between our bones and joints may break down and deteriorate, causing your bones to rub painfully together. While osteoarthritis may affect any joint, most patients with this condition experience it in their knees, hips, lower back, neck, fingers, or toes. For those seeking non-invasive methods of treatment to alleviate their joint pain, Effective Chiropractic PG County offers chiropractic treatment for osteoarthritis in Lanham, MD.
Who Usually Suffers from Osteoarthritis?
While many people with osteoarthritis are over the age of 65, it does affect people of all ages. Factors that put you more at risk for developing this condition include obesity, traumatic joint injuries, overuse of your joints, weak thigh muscles, and genetics. Being overweight applies extra pressure on your hips and knees over time, not to mention excess fat tissue sometimes causes inflammation. Athletes or workers who see a lot of repetitive motions over the course of their careers may also develop osteoarthritis. Certain inherited disorders can cause your cartilage to wear away faster than it would from normal wear-and-tear. As a result, people as young as 20 years old may experience osteoarthritis.
Common Symptoms Associated with Osteoarthritis
Not every person with osteoarthritis will experience the same symptoms. Some may experience gradual symptoms that build over time, while others may experience a sudden onslaught. The joints being affected often determine the severity and frequency of your osteoarthritis symptoms. You should talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Sore or stiff joints (especially around your hips, knees, or lower back)
- Swelling around your joints
- Limited range of motion
- Pain that increases after certain physical activities or at the end of the day
- Development of bone spurs
- Tenderness around your joints
- Grating or scraping sensations when moving your joints
Osteoarthritis often has tremendous impacts on a person’s social, family, and work life. Osteoarthritis can make simple tasks like driving or even holding a pencil excruciatingly painful. When it affects your lower joints, walking or going up stairs suddenly becomes a daily obstacle. Those with osteoarthritis are also more likely to fall, putting them at risk for fractures. While you may be tempted to lead a sedentary lifestyle as the result of your joint pain, this makes you more likely to develop obesity. There are many additional medical conditions associated with being overweight, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
How Do Doctors Usually Diagnose and Treat Osteoarthritis?
If you think you may have osteoarthritis, you’ll want to follow up with your primary care physician for a physical exam and diagnostic testing to confirm this. Your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms and family medical history before examining your joints and testing your range of motion. Your doctor may order x-rays or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to detect damages to your joints. Blood tests aren’t usually part of the osteoarthritis diagnostic process, although they may be used to detect or rule out other medical conditions. You should be as honest and as thorough as possible when describing your symptoms and how they affect your daily activities for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Osteoarthritis pain may be managed through analgesics, corticosteroids, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs either found over-the-counter or prescribed. You may need an assistive device to help you get around, such as a scooter, walker, or cane. Your doctor may also recommend making lifestyle and dietary changes to help you maintain a healthier weight to relieve the stress placed on your hips, knees, back, and feet. Exercises, stretching, or physical therapy may restore your joint mobility. If the joint damage is extensive enough, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to repair or replace your damaged hip or knee joints.
To learn more about the unique benefits offered by incorporating chiropractic treatment for your osteoarthritis in Lanham, MD, please contact us today and schedule a consultation.