Chiropractors can help patients suffering from arthritis by aligning the spine and manipulating the joints to decrease friction and inflammation. This slows the progression of arthritis and also provides some relief from the pain.
What is arthritis and what causes it?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, those are two relatively straight up questions. Arthritis, literally when you put the letters itis on the back of any word, it just means inflammation of. So, if we have gastritis, that’s inflammation of the stomach, arthritis is inflammation of the joints and it can affect any type of joint in the body. So, any joint can be affected with arthritis. The causes of arthritis, there’s a lot of different types of arthritis. There is psoriatic arthritis, there’s rheumatoid arthritis, there’s osteoarthritis.
The most common one that most people get is osteoarthritis. And that’s also been called Everyone’s Disease because every joint will degenerate over time with use and they will always show some signs of wear and tear. And then, if there is enough of that and things aren’t lined up and there is friction in the joint, it starts to create inflammation and swelling and that’s the itis part of the joint. So, then the joints become inflamed, they become sore, and if whatever is contributing to making that joint more arthritic isn’t stopped or ceased, then they tend to be a very progressive type of problem where arthritis will get worse and worse and worse with time.
How can chiropractic care help prevent people from getting arthritis?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I like your question. I don’t really like to use the word prevent because I don’t know that we can guarantee that I can prevent this from happening. However, when you really think about it, joints are surfaces that come in contact with each other and then they are designed to move. That’s what allows us to move because if there were no joints, we wouldn’t be able to bend. So, when the joints are working fine and they’re lined up and they’re well lubricated, these joints are actually going to move smoothly and really have no aberrant motion. However, over time, stress, tension, poor posture, accidents, falls, over use, repetitive stress, all of these things will kind of change the alignment of the joint and then they start to create more friction and more inflammation. So, by getting periodically checked by a chiropractor to make sure the joints of your spine are lined up properly, it should decrease the chances of arthritis really taking a hold and progressing.
So, I wouldn’t say, “Oh I can prevent it in every person”, but it can certainly be slowed down and minimized as long as you’re taking care of your spine. And the thing that I always let people know is that it’s something that you need to be checking consistently. Like you always have the alignment of the front end of your car checked so you don’t wear the tires funny. So those are the things that we can really help people with. I hate to use the prevent word, but really, we can help people kind of stave it off, slow down the progression. Because everyone’s going to get a little bit depending on how active you are and how healthy and lined up the joints are.
How can chiropractic care and treatments help people suffering from arthritis, if they already have it?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Yeah, so it’s kind of the same thing. Once you have it, it doesn’t mean that it has to progress. You can slow it down again by maintaining proper alignment, making sure that the joints are lined up and they’re healthy. That’s really getting adjusted for the spine, making sure you’re getting enough exercise, making sure that your diet is proper so your body has all the building blocks to do joint repair and tissue repair. All those things are really important and there’s no one panacea, one thing that’s going to cure it all. However, chiropractic has certainly been shown to slow down the progression of arthritis and even minimize its effects. So, it’s very important and it’s one piece in the puzzle of maintaining good, healthy spinal joints is getting your spines checked, making sure that the ones that are misaligned or fixed or stuck in these abnormal positions or what we call subluxated get corrected so those things don’t continue. It’s basically you kind of putting out the fire before it gets worse.
Many people suffering from arthritis are on prescription medication. Can chiropractic care provide enough relief so that people can feel better and potentially reduce the amount of medication they take?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: That’s a question that really hits pretty home for me because my mom has been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for many, many years and I’ve always been working on her and adjusting her and trying to help her out. But she’s always had a fair amount of discomfort and has had to use certain medications to alleviate her symptoms. It doesn’t mean that chiropractic didn’t help her, it just couldn’t eliminate the need for medications. In some people, absolutely, they do corrective care in our office and they often don’t need to take the aspirin and the Advil to alleviate those things. I had a woman come in yesterday, it was just a wonderful thing. She had bilateral knee pain and she came in and we actually found misalignment in her hips. And what we did was rebalance her hips and pelvis and her lower spine and she came back after three weeks and saying after our second or third adjustment, I haven’t had any knee pain at all.
And so, it can affect different areas in different ways and different patients will see certainly different results. So, I’m not going to sit here and tell everyone that if you have knee pain, come in, I’m going to fix it. But we help a lot of people with these conditions and we get great results. And I’m not saying that every single person who walks in here with arthritis is going to dance out of here and pirouette and do back flips. But it certainly improves their overall quality of life, slows down the degeneration and certainly can help with pain mitigation.
For someone suffering from arthritis who has never seen a chiropractor, what can they expect during their first visit?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Everyone who comes into my office should expect the same thing. What we’re going to do is we’re going to teach you what it is we do and how we go about it.
So, we’re going to talk to you about chiropractic, explain what a subluxation is, the misalignments of the joints that are putting pressure on the nerves and disrupting the joints’ physiology. And then we’re going to do a complete examination just like you would get in any orthopedic office. We want to make sure that there’s no other conditions that would prevent us from delivering a normal treatment plan. We also want to make sure that there’s no disc injuries or if there are, we might manage that case certainly in a different manner.
So, we take a full history, we do a complete examination and I would say that we x-ray the point of pain in probably about 70% of the patients who walk through our door. X-rays are an excellent tool in evaluating the health of the joint and the health of the spine and the proper alignment. And I always tell people to see is to know and not to see is to guess. And most people don’t really want me guessing about their health. So, x-rays are also a very vital tool in assessing the health of one’s spine and the alignment.
So, all those things put together will be done on visit one. And then once you have your x-rays, we’ll invite you back into the office, we’ll post them up, we’ll show you what we’re seeing on the x-rays, explain what’s on them and then outline a treatment plan. And we’ll let you know exactly how long I think you need to be under care, what your issue is, what results you can expect to see, how much money it’ll cost, and then the individual patient can decide if they want to pursue care in our office.
To speak with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, visit www.ChiropractorMidtown.com or call 917-534-6484 to schedule an appointment