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ARTHRITIS

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. It is estimated that, within the UK, over 10 million people of all ages suffer from some form of arthritis.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around 8 million people. In the majority of cases, osteoarthritis develops in people over 50 years of age, although it can develop at any age due to a joint-related injury or medical condition. It affects the smooth cartilage lining of your joints, causing stiffness that makes everyday movements difficult and often painful. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage (connective tissue) between the bones gradually erodes, often causing the joints in your hands, spine, knees and hips to rub together.

In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people and, much like osteoarthritis, it often develops in people who are between 40 and 50 years of age. Moreover, women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid osteoarthritis occurs when your body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. Initially the outer covering of your joint is affected, and the condition can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and an altering of the shape of your joint, which causes both the bone and cartilage to break down.

Although osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis, other types of arthritis and related conditions include:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis – a long-term inflammatory condition that affects the bones, muscles and ligaments of the spine. This condition can also cause swelling of your tendons, eyes and large joints,
  • Cervical spondylosis – often referred to as degenerative osteoarthritis, cervical spondylitis affects the joints and bones in the neck,
  • Fibromyalgia – this condition causes pain in the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons (for more information, see our health condition section on Fibromyalgia),
  • Psoriatic arthritis – an inflammatory joint condition which can affect people with psoriasis,
  • Secondary arthritis – a form of arthritis that can occur after a joint injury.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Depending on the type of arthritis from which you suffer, you will experience different symptoms. This makes it fundamental to receive an accurate arthritis diagnosis in order to receive appropriate treatment. It is crucial that you seek professional advice if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness,
  • Inflammation in and around the joints,
  • Restricted movement of the joints,
  • Warm, red skin over the affected joint,
  • Weakness and muscle deterioration.

How Chelsea & Fulham Chiropractic Clinic can help

Although there is no known cure for arthritis, there are many treatments that can help to alleviate the effects of your condition. Many clients undergo surgical procedures, such as arthroplasty, arthodesis or osteotomy, which either replace or fuse joints as well as cutting and re-aligning bones. In many cases, sufferers are prescribed painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, treatments such as sports massage, deep tissue massage, correct stretches and exercises, dry needle therapy and regular chiropractic care are far less invasive treatments and  can help alleviate stiffness and joint pain.

At Chelsea & Fulham Chiropractic Clinic, we offer a unique approach to healing and wellness. By practicing advanced chiropractic and specific sports massage techniques, we can help you manage the symptoms of your arthritis and delay the progress of your condition. Our team of expert chiropractors utilise state of the art equipment, such as electric treatment benches and advanced digital x-ray to precisely diagnose the source of your arthritic pain and subsequently administer appropriate and effective care. We also offer acupuncture to help alleviate the symptoms.

For more information on chiropractic care for arthritis, why not call Chelsea & Fulham Chiropractic Clinic today and begin to revitalise your health and wellbeing!