It’s estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.5 million people in the U.S. This autoimmune condition is one that manifests in chronic pain in the body’s joints, generally affecting frequently-used joints in the hands, feet, and shoulders. The condition can take hold as early as 30 in many people, which means more than half of a lifetime will be spent downplaying symptoms and managing the condition.
One of the biggest concerns to come with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is how this condition will affect the spine’s facet joints. Like any other area of the body, these joints are subject to attack from a dysfunctional immune system, leaving them prone to weakness and inflammation. In the spine this has ongoing consequences, including the opportunity for nerve compression and inflammation.
Ideal Spine chiropractors understand specifically how rheumatoid arthritis manifests in the spine. Using a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) schedule, they strive to pinpoint at-risk facet joints and provide corrective relief, before more dangerous symptoms set in.
Qualifying facet joint risks
There are two facet joints connecting every spinal vertebra to the one above or below it. Their chief task is to stabilize the spine at all times, whether it’s neutral or engaged in flexation/extension.
When wrongly targeted by the body’s immune system, facet joints are weakened. The body attacks the synovial fluid that’s responsible for lubricating these joints, which invites friction and inflammation to manifest. Over time these catalysts create breakdowns in the joints themselves, leading to everything from loss of mobility to bone spurs. If left untreated, the facet joints of a vertebra can deteriorate altogether, creating dangerous nerve compression that results in permanent nerve damage.
The problems rheumatoid arthritis presents abound beyond just the facet joints themselves, however. When these joints don’t work properly the spine is put in the imposition of having to function around them. Subluxations, disc herniation, and ruptured discs are all prone to occurring in the wake of facet joint dysfunction.
Treating the incurable
Due to the autoimmune nature of rheumatoid arthritis, it cannot be cured; only managed. Chiropractic can be effective at disrupting the symptoms of facet joint deterioration, thereby halting the progression of other issues.
The chief ability of routine chiropractic is to lessen the burden of facet joint function. This is done by maintaining positive spine health and homeostasis in the natural curvature of the spine. Better support invites fewer problems with compression and subluxation.
Also within the realm of chiropractic is the ability to increase and preserve range of motion, in the face of a condition where loss of mobility is prevalent. Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) plans can build in stretching and strengthening exercises that work to preserve a patient’s spinal integrity. Even diet and nutrition can mitigate the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, helping to stave off inflammation.
It should be noted that most people also benefit from prescriptions designed to fight the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. These are not painkillers, but rather autoimmune drugs that help protect the body against itself. Patients should seek evaluation for these medications from their general physician.
Focusing on the spine
Though rheumatoid arthritis affects joints throughout the body, it’s crucial to protect the facet joints above all else. These joints are quick to succumb to rheumatoid attacks and can suffer lasting problems if they degenerate. Chiropractic could help protect these crucial points before too much harm is done. Using a CBP management plan, an Ideal Spine chiropractor can give you a fighting chance against rheumatoid arthritis that medications alone may not.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.