There are ways to help maintain minimization of inflammation to the joints and stave off the progression of any type of arthritic change in the body.
Maintain Proper Alignment of the Spine I think the number one and most important thing in my eyes as a chiropractor is to maintain proper alignment of the spine. That pretty much means seeing a chiropractor periodically to get your spine checked. I truly wish that there was a light that came on in people’s foreheads to signal when people were subluxated or misaligned. But really the only way to know is to get checked by a chiropractor. I can’t even tell when I’m subluxated or misaligned, I have to go to another doctor to get checked.
It’s truly about getting your spine checked and prevention is the biggest thing in chiropractic. We’ve always talked about prevention and maintenance, not waiting for problem show up. The most important thing is really proper alignment of the spine which will keep the joints in good alignment, maintain the cartilages in a healthy manner, and keep the joints healthy throughout the course of your lifetime.
Exercise I think the number two is to make sure that you get enough exercise because motion is life, and motion is what keeps the joints healthy. The joints will be not be nourished if you don’t use them, swirl up the synovial fluid and allow the nutrients into the joint itself. That only happens with movement.
You might notice if you’ve ever seen an aging grandparent that they start to get arthritis and they start to get more pain and they move less. The arthritis is relentless and it starts to maintain and progress even faster when they’re not moving. You actually have to get through some of the pain and discomfort and just get exercising and get moving.
Dietary Supplements There are a lot of great natural supplements to help maintain joint health and keep the cartilages healthy. You’ll hear things called glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, MSM. There are a lot of other building blocks to natural cartilage that are available in these different supplementation forms which basically provide the building blocks for healthy cartilage. As long as you have an excess of these building blocks around, the body will continue to make good quality cartilage and repair the cartilage that has been over-used or damaged.
The body has a very specific ability to heal itself and it replaces damaged cells with healthy new ones and that process is always going on. There is a company called Previnex that puts out a product made from eggshell membranes which is working phenomenally in our patients. They’re a top quality company and provides some really great supplements.
Proper Posture Another great way to prevent degenerative changes in the spine is proper posture, using ergonomic setups. People don’t think about these things, but things like forward head posture, moving your head anterior will put a lot of stress on the joints and the neck and can contribute to degenerative changes at C5, which is a very common place, the fifth cervical vertebrae, to see degenerative change.
There are great tools, such as orthotics and insoles that will cushion your steps if you’re someone who runs a lot, to minimize the wear and tear or the pounding on the spine. You can use anti-fatigue mats if you’re standing for extended periods of time, back supports in cars and chairs at work. Using ergonomically correct chairs and postures, all have a positive effect on arthritic changes and arthritis in the body.
Diet and Nutrition Another way is diet. When we look at the standard American diet, people are taking in a lot of foods that really drive the acidity of the body up. When the body is in a more acidic state, it’s much more prone to inflammation and inflammatory problem, such as arthritis. I do want to let you know that I am not a nutritional expert and I don’t do a ton of consulting in nutrition. We often refer out to a registered dietician and health counselors and other chiropractors that I refer to.
Those are the top five ways to help maintain minimization of inflammation to the joints and stave off the progression of any type of arthritic change in the body.
Dr. Gregg D. Rubinstein, D.C., is a midtown Manhattan chiropractor with over 20 years of experience providing customized chiropractic treatment services to a wide range of clients in the Midtown Manhattan/West New York City area. Dr. Gregg Rubinstein and 57th Street Chiropractic can be reached at (917) 534-6484 and is located at 119 West 57th St. in New York, NY.