Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in America. Each year, arthritis causes one million hospitalizations and almost 45 million doctor visits with an estimated cost of over $50 billion. It is also one of the main culprits in missed days of work, accounting for yet another $50 billion of lost earnings.
Arthritic joints are characterized by inflammation and pain. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid, psoriatic arthritis, and septic arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis, otherwise known as degenerative joint disease (DJD).
Because joint cartilage does not contain free nerve endings, joint destruction is not often associated with pain until arthritis is considerably advanced. This is the reason why arthritis tends to be diagnosed so late in the disease process. With a majority of the protective cartilage now gone, the surfaces of the bones become exposed to gradual erosion, leading to continued swelling and joint destruction.
Arthritis can make it very difficult for an individual to remain physically active, contributing to an increased risk of obesity or vulnerability to heart disease. Individuals with arthritis are also at increased risk of depression which may be related to on ongoing fear of worsening symptoms.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Regardless of the type of arthritis, the most common symptoms include joint aches and pains due to stiffness and swelling. Some types of arthritis can also affect organs. Arthritis is medically diagnosed based upon past history, symptoms, and clinical examination. X-rays often show anatomical abnormalities such as joint space narrowing, bone spurs, and joint deformity.
Conventional medical treatment for arthritis focuses solely upon symptom reduction. The pain associated with arthritis is most commonly treated with acetaminophen or other NSAID drugs. Since exercise may be considered painful to many suffering with arthritis, drugs instinctively become the primary treatment for arthritic pain. This approach, however, exposes arthritis sufferers to the serious and well known risks of liver and kidney damage. In addition, drugs offer only partial relief, and treatment with acetaminophen and NSAIDs completely fails to help the body rebuild damaged joint cartilage.
Acetaminophen is possibly the most widely used analgesic in America, where well over 25 billion doses are sold annually. Unintentional acetaminophen overdose hospitalizes over 15,000 people each year and is the leading cause of acute liver failure. NSAIDs are also known for other side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, peptic ulcer disease, high blood pressure, edema, and heart attack.
If arthritic pain is unable to be controlled with therapies like exercise and NSAIDs, medical treatment options may then include topical analgesics, corticosteroid injections, opioid narcotics, and total joint replacement surgery.
It is well documented that chiropractors are masters of delivering specific adjustments to the joints of the body. Adjustments restore blood flow, allowing the tissues of the body to remove waste materials and deliver necessary nutrients in order to rebuild and restore joint integrity in a more effective and affordable fashion than other currently available therapies focused mainly upon pain relief.
The current opioid crisis in America is a result of synthetically silencing the body’s innate pain mechanism. The pain is a symptom of dysfunction – not the disease at all. Dosages eventually increase, stronger medications are prescribed, and self-medication begins when insurance coverage ceases, leaving many in a hopeless addictive cycle.
Joint manipulation helps break up scar tissue adhesions, reduces inflammation, and relieves pain – all symptoms of arthritis. Targeted nutritional supplementation offers an endless variety of active compounds known to positively influence cartilage support in arthritic cases. Unlike medications, this approach does not cause side effects yet still offers defense against oxidative stress and inflammatory damage. Many patients have found the strategies of Divine Design Natural Health effective at restoring and maintaining pain-free living simply by using adjustments, cold laser therapy, detoxification, and nutrition to restore normal function rather than to silence it.