Simple Steps to Avoid Crippling Arthritis

February 7, 2017

Simple steps you can take to avoid crippling arthritis in your neck & low back

As a chiropractor, there are many things to look for in a set of weight bearing spinal x-rays (chiropractors take their x-rays with the patient standing to see postural deviations).  We look for the “normal” curves we should all have for stability, postural deviations, and even congenital defects (we call them anomalies).

One other thing observed on an x-ray is the amount of joint damage.  The more disc thinning, disc degeneration, arthritic spurring, and calcification of ligaments, the longer the process has been going on and the more difficult it will be to improve the patient’s condition.

I remember one of the worst x-rays I had ever seen on a young person.  I jokingly asked him if he had been run over by a truck.  He responded, yes – as a young boy I was runover by an 18-wheeler while riding my bicycle and spent a month in the hospital!

Even if you haven’t been hit by a truck, the accidents and incidents one is involved in as life goes on have a direct effect on the rate that our spine wears out.  If posture is good and mechanical dysfunctions (we call them subluxations) are corrected as they develop, the spine should wear uniformly and last as long as we need it – into the 80’s or 90’s .

If soft tissue injuries that the spine has suffered from falls, car accidents, sports and work aren’t corrected as they occur, the damaged areas of the spine wear out faster than the rest and cause a poor quality of life or even early disability.

When a patient’s x-rays show disc thinning, loss of curve, and arthritic spurring, often times the patient will state that they were in a car accident but “were not hurt”.  They felt that they were not hurt because the spine was built to be resilient and protect the spinal cord with a “bend but not break” property.  The problem is after being “bent” too sharply, function is lost.  Following an accident or incident if the individual gets chiropractic care, the loss of function is temporary and no damage develops.  Those individuals who do not get chiropractic care following an injury run the risk of a permanent progressive degenerative process developing.  This is exhibited by a reoccurring  back or neck condition.

To reduce the rate of joint wear and tear in your spine:

  1. Have your chiropractor check you for subluxations after an accident or incident  (anything that hurts for more than 3 days, or an accident you have that you were surprised didn’t hurt anything despite its impact); 

  2. Follow through with your chiropractor’s recommendations (getting treated to the point of less pain may not be enough to restore function);

  3. Use an ergonomic chair, desk, and work station that are suitable for your job and body build;

  4. Practice good posture;

  5. Exercise – at least walk;

  6. If you smoke, pick a year to quit.  If you don’t smoke, don’t start;

  7. If osteoporosis runs in the family, take steps to improve calcium absorption and replacement in your bones.

We have been treating the effects of spinal degeneration for almost 35 years at Reinecke Chiropractic. We help patients to preserve spinal health and function and we have great success with even the more advanced cases of spinal degeneration. If you have had a mishap this winter call us for a checkup…we would much rather preserve your healthy spine than treat you for spinal degeneration years in the future.