Arthritis is an overall term for a group of conditions that can cause pain, inflammation and stiffness in and around the joints – and often reduced mobility. Osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting 8.5 million people in the UK. In fact, according to Arthritis Care, 5.4 million women in the UK suffer from osteoarthritis – and nearly a million are under 54. Age, injury, your biomechanics, family history and being female all play a part.
Chiropractic care can help people with arthritis in many ways. As a way of protecting joints muscles may become overworked, and mobility may become reduced. Treatment is aimed at maintaining mobility of joints and muscles, using joint adjustments, mobilisation and exercises to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, strengthen weak muscles and improve flexibility. Your chiropractor can advise you on the best exercises for you – arthritis does not mean you should stop using the joint – you may just need to modify what you do. We have found that this combined approach, along with any treatment that your GP may advise, can make a big difference to the pain and stiffness of arthritis and help you live your life to the full.
Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. There are exercises that can help you if you have arthritis such as:
- Walking: Walking maintains joint flexibility and builds the strength of joints which is good for arthritis because it is mainly caused by an inflammation of the joints.
- Tai Chi: A martial art exercise that originated from China that includes flowing fluid like circular movement of the arms and legs that allows you to relax and improves your range of motion.
- Yoga: This relaxing activity provides relief to stiff muscles and relieves sore joints through the use of deep breathing techniques, controlled movements, stretches and pressures.
- Exercise in warm water: This eases stiff joints and eases muscles that are sore. Water allows the body to move in full motion without any pressure or difficulty.