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Arthritis – Causes & how to relieve it

Arthritis can be a source of chronic pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility, leading individuals to seek various remedies. Let's delve in.

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Arthritis, a common yet often misunderstood condition, affects millions of people worldwide.

Read on as we delve into the world of arthritis, the common types, early warning signs, causes, and potential remedies. Let’s embark on this journey to better understand arthritis and the potential benefits of chiropractic care.

Arthritis pain management with chiropractic care

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a term that encompasses a group of over 100 joint-related conditions, and it can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. The common denominator among these conditions is joint inflammation, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and decreased joint function. Arthritis often results in joint damage, affecting the quality of life for those afflicted by it.

What are the common types of arthritis?

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, often referred to as “wear and tear arthritis,” is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It primarily affects the joints that endure the most stress over time, such as the knees, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones gradually deteriorates, leading to pain and stiffness. While it’s commonly associated with ageing, it can also develop as a result of joint injuries or obesity.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the synovium, the lining of the membranes that surround the joints. This persistent inflammation can damage cartilage and bones and may even affect other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis often leads to pain, swelling, and deformities in the affected joints.

plantar fasciitis not related to arthritis Chiropractic Singapore

Is plantar fasciitis a form of arthritis?

Plantar fasciitis is often confused with arthritis due to its joint-related symptoms. However, it’s not a form of arthritis. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. While it causes pain and discomfort in the feet, it differs from arthritis, which primarily affects joint structures like cartilage, bones, and synovium.
Spinal Examination for Chiropractic care
Spinal adjustment on upper back for shoulder pain at Chiropractic Singapore

Symptoms & causes of arthritis

What are the early warning signs of arthritis?

Recognising the early warning signs of arthritis is crucial for early intervention and effective management. Some common symptoms to watch out for include:

If you experience any of these symptoms persistently, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

What are the causes of arthritis?

Understanding the causes of arthritis can be complex, as they vary depending on the type of arthritis in question. Here are some key factors contributing to the development of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is often linked to ageing, as the wear and tear on joints accumulate over time. However, other forms of arthritis can affect people of all ages.

Some forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, tend to run in families. If you have a family history of arthritis, you might be at a higher risk of developing it.
Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases can trigger the body’s immune system to attack joint tissues, leading to inflammation.
Joint injuries, such as fractures or ligament tears, can increase the risk of developing arthritis later in life.
Infections in the joint, though rare, can lead to a specific type of arthritis.
Carrying excess weight places extra stress on weight-bearing joints, contributing to the development of arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis.
Certain professions or sports that involve repetitive joint movements and stress may increase the likelihood of arthritis development.

Does walking barefoot cause arthritis?

The idea that walking barefoot causes arthritis is a common misconception. Walking barefoot is a natural and healthy activity that allows the feet to move freely and can strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the feet. While walking on hard or uneven surfaces without proper support might lead to foot pain or other issues, it is not a direct cause of arthritis in the joints.

Treating arthritis

Is arthritis curable?

Arthritis, in most cases, is not curable. However, it is manageable with appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes. The goals of arthritis management typically include reducing pain, improving joint function, and slowing down the progression of the disease. Early intervention and effective management can significantly enhance a person’s quality of life.

Is arthritis degenerative?​

Arthritis is considered a degenerative condition because it often leads to the progressive deterioration of joint structures, such as cartilage and bone. However, the rate of degeneration can vary among individuals and depends on factors like the type of arthritis, genetics, and the effectiveness of treatment.

home remedies

stretching for muscle tension relief

Are there any arthritis remedies that I can try at home?

While arthritis may not be curable, there are several remedies and lifestyle changes that you can try at home to alleviate pain and improve your joint health.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help manage pain and reduce inflammation in the affected joints. However, it’s essential to use these medications under the guidance of a healthcare professional and to be aware of potential side effects.
Engaging in regular, low-impact exercise can help maintain joint flexibility and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Activities like swimming, walking, and cycling are often recommended. It’s vital to consult with a healthcare provider or physiotherapist to determine an appropriate exercise regimen tailored to your specific needs.
If you’re overweight, losing excess pounds can significantly reduce the stress on your joints, particularly in weight-bearing areas like the knees and hips. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Applying hot or cold packs to painful joints can provide temporary relief. Heat can relax and soothe muscles, while cold can reduce inflammation and numb the area. Experiment with both methods to see which works best for you.
Utilising assistive devices such as braces, splints, or canes can help support and protect affected joints. These devices can improve your mobility and reduce the risk of further joint damage.
Some people with arthritis find relief from dietary supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which are believed to support joint health. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements to ensure they are safe and suitable for your condition.

Tip: If these home remedies don't help, consider booking a check-up.

Exercises & stretches

What exercises can I try to relieve arthritis pain?

Exercise is a fundamental component of managing arthritis. Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain. Here are some exercises that you can try to relieve arthritis pain:

pain relief with chiropractic stretchesThese exercises aim to maintain and improve joint flexibility. Examples include gentle stretches and movements that take your joints through their full range of motion.

pain relief with chiropractic stretchesStrengthening the muscles around your joints can provide added support and stability. Resistance exercises using bands or weights can help strengthen these muscles.

Low-impact aerobic activities like walking, swimming, and cycling can improve cardiovascular fitness and help with weight management.
Exercising in a pool can reduce the impact on your joints while providing resistance for strengthening. Water exercises can be especially beneficial for those with arthritis.

knees to chest stretch for lower back pain reliefThese mind-body exercises can improve balance, flexibility, and strength while also promoting relaxation.

Before starting any exercise regimen, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider or a physiotherapist. They can provide guidance on the most suitable exercises for your specific type of arthritis and individual needs. It may be beneficial to consult with both a chiropractor and a physiotherapist who can work together on your case. Chiropractic Singapore works closely with our sister brand, City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy, so that we are able to tailor the most suitable care plan for your condition, so rest assured that you are in safe & capable hands when you come to us.

Professional help for arthritis

Which arthritis specialist or doctor should I see?

When dealing with arthritis, the type of healthcare provider you should see may vary based on your symptoms and the specific type of arthritis you have. Here are some specialists and doctors who can help:
Rheumatologists are medical doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and related autoimmune conditions. They can provide a comprehensive assessment and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
If your arthritis has progressed to a point where surgical intervention is necessary, an orthopaedic surgeon can perform joint replacement surgeries, such as hip or knee replacements.
A physiotherapist can work with you to develop an exercise plan to improve joint function and alleviate pain. They can also offer techniques for managing your condition. Learn more about a physiotherapist’s approach from our sister brand, City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy.
Chiropractors, as spinal health experts, can be beneficial for certain types of arthritis, especially those affecting the spine and surrounding joints. They focus on manual adjustments to improve spinal alignment and reduce pain.

CHIROPRACTIC FOR arthritis

Can a chiropractor help with arthritis?

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and addressing conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. While chiropractic care may not be a cure for arthritis, it can offer potential benefits in terms of pain relief and improved joint function for certain individuals with arthritis-related joint problems. For chiropractors, one common type of arthritis we address is ankylosing spondylitis, which is a type of spondyloarthritis that causes pain and swelling around joints of the spine.

How can chiropractic care benefit those with arthritis?

Chiropractors use a hands-on approach to address joint and spinal issues, aiming to restore proper alignment and function. While the effectiveness of chiropractic care can vary from person to person, it may provide several benefits for arthritis patients:

1. Pain relief

Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate joint pain and reduce muscle tension, offering immediate relief for some individuals.

2. Improved joint function

By realigning joints and reducing inflammation, chiropractic care can enhance joint function and mobility.

3. Reduced medication dependency

Some individuals may be able to reduce their reliance on pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), after undergoing a chiropractic session.

4. Better overall well-being

Chiropractic care often focuses on holistic health and wellness, including lifestyle and dietary recommendations that can complement arthritis management.
Arthritis pain management with chiropractic care

How many chiropractic sessions do I need to feel better?

Generally, chiropractors will assess your condition and develop a management plan tailored to your specific needs. The number of chiropractic sessions required to feel better can vary widely depending on several factors. 

he number of chiropractic sessions needed to feel better can be significantly influenced by the severity of your arthritis. Mild cases may require fewer sessions for noticeable improvement, while more severe forms of arthritis may necessitate a more extended care plan to achieve relief and enhance mobility.

Your general health and well-being play a crucial role in determining the duration of chiropractic care needed. A healthier lifestyle, a well-balanced diet, and regular exercise can complement chiropractic sessions, potentially reducing the number of visits required to address arthritis-related discomfort.

Individual responses to chiropractic care can vary. Some people may experience rapid relief after just a few sessions, while others might require a longer series of adjustments to achieve their desired level of comfort. Your body’s unique response to chiropractic adjustments is a key factor in determining the duration of care.

Lifestyle choices, such as ergonomic improvements in your workspace, posture, and the incorporation of recommended exercises into your daily routine, can have a significant impact on your recovery. Taking an active role in managing your arthritis through lifestyle changes can influence the number of chiropractic sessions needed to feel better, potentially reducing the overall care timeline.

In many cases, initial treatment may involve more frequent sessions to address acute pain and discomfort. As your condition improves, the frequency of sessions may decrease. Chiropractors typically work with patients to establish realistic goals and plan accordingly.

It’s important to maintain open communication with your chiropractor and provide feedback on how you’re feeling during and between sessions. This way, your sessions can be adjusted as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

Is arthritis manageable?

While living with arthritis can be challenging, it’s important to understand that arthritis is indeed manageable, and there are various effective approaches to improve your quality of life. Managing arthritis typically involves a combination of lifestyle adjustments, medical treatments, and personalised care plans.

At Chiropractic Singapore, our team of experienced professionals specialises in diagnosing and addressing arthritis-related issues. We understand the importance of a comprehensive approach to managing arthritis, which may include adjustments, physical therapy, personalised exercises, and adaptive strategies to make daily activities easier.

We invite you to schedule a consultation at one of our four convenient locations for a thorough assessment and personalised management plan. Taking the first step towards managing arthritis can significantly improve your overall well-being.

Note: The above information is not a substitute for a diagnosis or any form of medical care. Symptoms and treatments differ from person to person, and one should consult a chiropractor or a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and recommendation.