Arthritis

Arthritis Specialist
By the time you turn 64, your risk for arthritis is four-times higher than it was at the age of 44. You may prevent or delay arthritis by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting chiropractic care to keep your joints in optimal health. Dr. Austin McMillin at ProActive Spine Care has extensive experience in diverse chiropractic therapies and he’s ready to develop a plan tailored for your needs. He serves residents of Tacoma, South Puget Sound, and University Place from his office in Fircrest, Washington.

Arthritis Q & A

ProActive Spine Care

What are the different types of arthritis?

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of them are progressive, degenerative joint diseases, but they develop from different causes.

Osteoarthritis: It’s also called wear-and-tear arthritis because it develops gradually as cartilage on the bones in your joints deteriorates. Without cartilage to cushion and lubricate them, the bones can’t move smoothly. As more cartilage erodes, eventually bone rubs against bone, causing pain, stiffness, and limited motion.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This type of arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints, making them inflamed, swollen, and stiff. Over time, cartilage and bones are destroyed, and the joint becomes deformed. While it begins in small joints in your hands and feet, the disease often spread to wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, and hips.

Rheumatoid arthritis has another significant difference from osteoarthritis: It can spread throughout your body. About 40% of those with rheumatoid arthritis have symptoms that involve parts of the body other than the joints.

What factors increase your risk for arthritis?

You may be at a higher risk for both types of arthritis if you have a family history or you’re a woman, because women develop arthritis more often than men. The older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll have arthritis. Being overweight is a significant risk factor for osteoarthritis, but it may also put you at a slightly higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis.

How does chiropractic therapy relieve arthritis?

One of the most important treatments for both types of arthritis is staying active. Chiropractic therapy can keep you active by relieving pain and improving joint mobility. As you get regular chiropractic care for your whole body, you’ll prevent problems that arise, because the way you move is affected by painful joints.

The type of chiropractic therapy used depends on your health needs, but the goal is always to ensure your comfort and ease your pain. Dr. McMillin may use spinal manipulation to restore alignment and balance to your body. This is a sample of other treatments he may consider:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Gentle trigger point therapy
  • Low-level laser therapy to reduce inflammation
  • Therapeutic exercises and stretches
  • Functional rehabilitation
  • Exercise training
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