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Posted on 03-30-2013

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a poor word to use because “artho” means joint and “it is” means inflammation. However, OA is not inflammatory in nature at all. A better term to use is degenerative joint disease (DJD). This implies degeneration or breakdown of the joint due to wear and tear with aging. What happens as you abuse the joint over time, the joint gets dehydrated. Now there is less fluid for lubrication. This causes more “bone-on-bone” friction. Your body feels that the joint is unstable and the grows bone spurs out the side trying to stabilize it. On an x-ray, this appears as a decreased joint space and osteophytes (bone spurs). Removing the spurs surgically has not been effective because they usually grow back with a couple years. Steriodal medications are not good for this because steroids break down the joint further. Chiropractic cannot reverse OA, however, it can improve how the joint functions. OA in itself should not be painful. When pain is experienced, it is from the muscles and tendons compensation for abnormal joint movement. Chiropractic can address how the joint moves and how the muscles, tendons, and nerves function around the joint. If you know someone who experiences pain from DJD, have them contact us.

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