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Anthony T. Hardnett, DC
The Truth About Osteoarthritis
Effective Integrative Healthcare, LLC

The Truth About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis also known as (OA) is not really a disease; it’s more of a condition. Osteoarthritis can occur at any joint and involves some level of inflammation and degeneration. It is usually linked to a lifestyle condition consisting of both lack of long-term activity and being overweight.

The best way obviously to deal with arthritis is not to get it in the first place and if you got it, do everything you can to make sure it doesn’t get worse. In most cases, once diagnosed with arthritis, it will get worse if you keep the same lifestyle habits.

According to the Center for Disease Control, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Approximately 47 million people have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and 17 million have arthritis-attributable activity limitations.

The term “use it or lose it” is very accurate when it comes to arthritis. People who spend most of their day sitting at a desk and/or working on a computer are at risk for developing OA of the neck, lower back, hips, and knees. These same people are at even increased risk if they’re overweight.

We need to intentionally work our bodies to keep them healthy and well. This means regular exercise, eating smart to maintain our weight at a healthy level and utilizing chiropractic to keep your spine healthy.

What kind of exercise? Do what you like, do what you’re interested in doing. Just be consistent and exercise three, four, or five days every week. And, every so often, vary what you’re doing. Your body will let you know when it’s getting bored.

One treatment option available to seniors and people with arthritis is the Nintendo Wii video game system. This doesn’t replace getting out and being active, but on rainy days or when the weather isn’t too friendly, the Nintendo Wii offers sporting games that you can actually make a workout out of.

Walking is also a perfect exercise for treatment of arthritis. Begin by walking one block, then two, then around the block. Walk five minutes daily for a week, and then increase by a minute or two each day. Get up to 15 minutes of gentle walking, and then begin to gradually increase your pace. The increased mobility will not only reduce pain, but also provide a cardiovascular benefit and improve one’s ability to perform activities of daily living.

Chiropractic treatment, in combination with an exercise program, may assist in restoring joint mobility and reducing pain. Gentle chiropractic manipulative therapy is designed to improve mobility of spinal joints. As spinal joint motion improves, pain lessens, and a positive cycle of return-to-function begins.

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