Arthritis, mobility issues, and joint issues are often seen as just part of growing older, but our bodies weren’t programmed for illness. Arthritis comes from somewhere, and it’s not just old age. When you know the reason, you can find the source and remediate it. Arthritis is no different.
What is Arthritis?
The Arthritis Foundation explains arthritis as follows:
Arthritis isn’t a single disease; the term refers to joint pain or joint disease, and there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, race and sex live with arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It’s most common among women, and although it’s not a disease of aging, some types of arthritis occur in older people more than younger people.
Common arthritis symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and diminished range of motion in joints. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and may come and go. Some may stay about the same for years, but symptoms can also progress and get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, difficulty performing daily activities and make walking and climbing stairs painful and grueling.
Arthritis can also cause permanent joint changes. These may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can be seen only on X-rays. Some types of arthritis affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
What Causes Arthritis?
It is widely seen as a fact that simply time and overuse are what causes arthritis–we see arthritis mainly in older people, after all. However, this is not necessarily true. Young children get arthritis, as well, and there are some older adults that will never get it.
Even when a person does get arthritis, it isn’t in all of their joints equally. Some people have more severe arthritis in their hands or feet than in their spine and neck. Others may have it in one place and no others. How can this be, if time and overuse are what causes arthritis, and all of your joints are the same age? If it’s a matter of time and overuse, why doesn’t everyone get it? How do young children get it?
Something is missing from our understanding of the cause, and, as a result, our thoughts on how to reverse and remedy it.
What is missing?
In order for time and overuse to begin wearing on a joint in the way that leads to arthritis, there has to be some physical trauma to the joint. This doesn’t have to be something big falling on one’s hand. It could’ve been an injury sustained in childhood, or even birth. An injury or joint out of alignment that wasn’t adjusted and has therefore been putting additional physical stress on the body.
Just because one of your joints has been jarred or hurt, however, doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to develop arthritis. It also depends on how that traumatized joint is treated. Was the joint adjusted to make sure it is put back in alignment, or isn’t putting stress on the body in another way? Or was the joint just left to work through that trauma or stress, assuming it’d be fine?
Supporting the Body’s Healthy Movement
Not every movement your body makes has the same impact, or impacts the same joints. Running has a harder impact on the joints than swimming, for example. Carrying one or two glasses to the table has a different impact than carrying around heavy boxes or a backpack that’s more than you can support. Lifting with your back and shoulders puts more strain on your joints than lifting with your legs.
How are you moving? Are you working with or against your joints? Are you stretching them and making sure they stay in the proper alignment?
Talking with someone that knows how to read your body and x-rays helps you know where you are and specifically, need to improve certain areas. One size fits none; when there are different causes and different situations, different solutions are needed. The same pill won’t address a headache that will address a stomachache; they’re different things even though they’re both a source of pain, so they need different solutions.
Reducing Inflammation Can Help Arthritis
WebMD describes the way inflammation works as follows:
Inflammation occurs when substances from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign invaders. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area of injury or infection, and may result in redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
Mayo Clinic describes the symptoms of inflammation as follows:
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age.
Reducing inflammation, then, even if it doesn’t help your arthritis leave completely right away, will help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Things like being careful of what you eat, being mindful of continued stress on the joints or counteracting a remaining trauma response in those joints can help decrease inflammation.
Getting Adjusted can Help with Arthritis
If your joints are out of proper alignment and are working improperly, it is putting additional stress on your body. Getting those joints adjusted and back into the proper alignment will help with the inflammation and pain. Your joints working correctly will also lessen the physical stress your body is dealing with and allow it to deal with other stressors better.
Proper Nutrition can Help with Arthritis
We all know the importance of proper nutrition, but eating well can also help rectify situations already in progress. Because arthritis is a chronic pain issue, there is something chronic that is causing it. Lack of proper nutrition could be it.
A good amount of the average person’s inflammation either comes from, or is impacted by, the foods they eat. When we eat something our body registers as a foreign invader, it triggers the immune response. Part of the immune response is inflammation. This means that inflammation is actually a good thing–it’s how the body is supposed to respond. When inflammation becomes chronic, however, and the immune system is overworked and fatigued, is when things go downhill.
For more information on how your nutrition can cause muscle pain, read through this article.
When most people think of allergies, they think of excessive swelling, hives, and the inability to breathe. These are not always the signs of allergies, however. There are many more that are less blatant. Things like fatigue, irritability, and having a hard time focusing can also be signs of an allergic reaction. Not to mention inflammation! Get your allergies tested, and then cut those allergens from your diet.
Naturally Inflammatory Foods
There are some foods that are best to stay away from even if you’re not allergic to them. Things like processed sugar, dairy, corn, and a few other foods are naturally inflammatory. If you’re dealing with something like arthritis, it’s best to avoid these foods so as to not exacerbate the situation.
There are ingredients and substances in everyday products and foods that are toxic to the body. The body needs what it is made of to repair itself. The body isn’t made of these toxins, so they don’t help the body–they hurt it. These toxins can be in things like hair products and cleaners as well as GMOs and the dirty dozen. Dyes and hidden plastics, too, are things it’s best to steer clear of.
To get your allergies tested, get adjusted, or find out more about which toxins to cut from your everyday lifestyle, contact a Wellness Way clinic, today!