Most people suffering from back or neck pain are suffering from arthralgia (pain in the joints). Arthralgia is caused by inflammation in these spinal joints. If inflammation remains in a spinal joint over many years it erodes the joint surfaces and results in spinal arthritis (or spinal degeneration). Arthritis literally means “joint inflammation”.
Inflammation in the spinal joints -> Arthralgia -> Intermittent back pain + TIME = ARTHRITIS
Chiropractors identify inflamed spinal joints and endeavor to restore normal function to that segment with the intention of minimising the arthritic process. Arthritis will cause recurring pain and stiffness of that part of the spine.
Spinal arthritis is not reversible once bony change has occurred. Chiropractic care and a lifetime of healthy living can minimise the arthritic process in the spine.
Many patients of this clinic have come in and told me that they have arthritis and that nothing can be done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people with severe arthritis will not complain of pain at the same level as their arthritis. In fact most of the pain that they suffer from is usually a few vertebral segments away from the degenerated level. The reason for this is that the degenerated level is not moving very much and it passes the strain onto neighbouring joints. These joints become inflamed because they are doing more work than they should be. Treatment to the degenerated level will depend upon the severity of the arthritis. If there is only mild to moderate arthritis chiropractic manipulation can restore some movement to the degenerated level thus relieving pain and restoring movement. In severe arthritis the pain is usually coming from a different level of the spine and it is this level that is treated and not the arthritis. The take home message is that you can usually get people out of pain regardless of the amount of arthritis. However the greater the amount of degeneration the greater the time it takes to alleviate the pain.