Osteoarthritis (OA) is a very common joint disease. It is characterized by stiffness, pain and sometimes swelling around the affected joint. It is also referred to as “wear and tear” or degenerative joint disease.
Like most non life-threatening conditions it is mainly treated by “tea and sympathy”. If it becomes too painful and disabling your GP will be very likely to give you pain killers (eg: Paracetamol, Co-codamol) and anti-inflammatory drugs (eg: Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Celecoxib). To alleviate pain and improve function physiotherapists and chiropractors use physical therapy.
But how does one become osteoarthritic? Well, if you are not a vegetarian and pay a visit to your family butcher you may have noticed that, where the bones meet to form a joint, bone extremities are white, shiny and very smooth. This represents the cartilage, which provides a rubbery, lubricated cushion. Cartilage allows the two bones to glide easily with one another during joint movement.
In individuals with OA, the cartilage gradually wears away with the result that, over time, the two bones start “rubbing” against each other. This in turn will gradually cause pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling around the joint. OA commonly affects the fingers, knees, hips and spine. Although OA has a higher incidence in an older population, it still can affect younger people by trauma or overuse of a joint (e.g in athletes).
In order to establish whether a patient is suffering from OA a thorough medical history and an in depth physical examination needs to be performed. Plain X-rays films, to confirm the diagnosis and to assess the extent of OA, may also be required.
Once the chiropractor has ruled out other possibilities for the pain and the disability and a diagnosis of osteoarthritis has been confirmed a treatment plan can be drawn. In addition to a programme of pure joint and muscle rehabilitation patient suffering from OA may be advised to modify their lifestyle, as exercise and diet are important factors in the treatment of OA.
Unfortunately, most sufferers consult only once they have lost a substantial amount of joint mobility and muscle power. Chiropractors and physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis. If you think you suffer from joint “wear and tear” why not consult one?
Additional information can be found:
Pain is usually the reason why most patients consult a chiropractor.
The practitioner’s task is to try to determine the source of the pain so that it may be addressed effectively. Once any serious underlying pathology such as bone damage, tumours and infection has been ruled out, we are left with pain of a mechanical origin. It is then important to consider the onset of the pain, which everybody likes to be able to associate with a particular cause.
When the onset of the pain is sudden, as often happens after lifting or bending awkwardly, twisting suddenly or making a jarring movement, it is reassuring for the patient to be able to attribute the cause to a specific event. “I did something foolish”, “I know I should not have done that” are the types of comments we hear regularly.
“The pain came from nowhere”,
“It came out the blue”,
“I was fine when I went to bed and the following morning it was so painful that I could not get my head off the pillow”
However, although the onset can still appear to be sudden, there may be no particular event, which can be identified as a possible trigger. In these cases the patient often feels let down by his/her body. “The pain came from nowhere”, “it came out the blue”, “I was fine when I went to bed and the following morning it was so painful that I could not get my head off the pillow” are the comments we hear.
This impression that the pain has appeared “from nowhere” occurs because the process has been developing well before we become aware of it. In addition to this gradual build-up of a problem, the culmination comes when some minor, trivial activity (eg lying in bed) acts as a trigger. The British describe it as ‘the last straw that breaks the camel’s back’ and the French, ‘the last drop that makes the vase overflow’ and this is exactly what occurs.
What happens is that long before we’re aware of the severe pain, most of us suffer from all sorts of periods of mild discomfort and stiffness caused by general ‘wear and tear’. All this takes a gradual toll on our joints and their supportive structures. Add to that a lifestyle of poor posture at work, long hours of driving, slouching on the sofa in front of the television and you have the perfect recipe for an acute episode of neck, mid back or low back pain one day.
But, you will say, what steps could I take to avoid reaching the acute stage? Our advice would be to monitor your health and keep your body working as smoothly as possible. Think about your car, do you keep it regularly serviced, or do you wait until you break down in the pouring rain in the middle of nowhere before you call a mechanic?
The analogy may be obvious, but don’t you think your body is just as important as your car? If so, a visit to the chiropractor may save you a lot of trouble and pain further down the road.
For further information, please visit http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/chiropractic-pain-relief#1
Guildford Chiropractic Centre wins National Award
The PPQM is awarded to chiropractic clinics that demonstrate excellence in meeting patient expectations in a range of areas including accessibility, cleanliness and safety and patient communication. The decision to award the PPQM is made by a panel comprised of patients and the general public who form the Royal College of Chiropractor’s patients’ committee.
The award was announced by the Chair of the Royal College of Chiropractors patients’ committee, Mr Hew Helps, at a ceremony held in London on 1st February 2017.
Maureen Atkinson, Chair of the Chiropractic Patients Association (CPA), said that “as one of the sponsors of the Patient Partnership Quality Mark, the CPA knows from their members how valuable the award has been in encouraging clinics to go that extra mile in the care they provide for their patients. We congratulate the chiropractic clinic on achieving such a standard of excellence.”
This will be the fourth time the Guildford Chiropractic Centre has received this award, demonstrating its continued commitment to providing excellent service to the community. The centre has been established for over 60 years with a long tradition of providing high quality chiropractic treatment.
Clinic Principal, Mr Alain Michelotti says “We are delighted to announce the receipt of this award once again! The award of the Patient Partnership Quality Mark recognises this clinic’s commitment to meeting the expectations our patients have when they visit us for advice and treatment. The aim of our clinic team is to continually improve our levels of service and the award is an indication to us that we are achieving this. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to the clinic team for making this possible once again.”
Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Pain (Philip J Hehir DC)
Some of you may be surprised to learn that our clinic sees more than just back or neck pain.
A frequent condition we see is jaw pain – medically referred to as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
TMD is a common condition characterised by pain, and sometimes clicking, on opening of the jaw, usually on one side. Headaches, toothaches, limited range of movement of the jaw can also occur.
I want you now to swallow.
What happens during this process?
We approximate our teeth and, in so doing, mobilise our jaw.
When you realise that this process takes place approximately 2,400 times per day, it is not difficult to imagine that the temporomandibular joint is the most highly used joint in the body. As it is involved in swallowing, talking, biting and chewing, it is no wonder that a troublesome jaw can be a painful and frustrating problem.
The jaw joint is made up of the mandible (the real jaw bone) and the outer side of the skull, called the temporal bone.
If you place your fingers just 1cm in front of your ear, they will be on the temporomandibular joint. Then slowly open and close your mouth as far as you can. Ideally you should feel a symmetrical movement that is taking place under your fingers and the movement should be pain-free. However, if you suffer from TMD, when you open and close your mouth you may notice that one jaw joint moves before the other one; that it clicks; or that it is sore or even painful.
Apart from trauma to the joint itself, bruxism (or grinding of one’s teeth) seems to be the biggest causative factor in the development of TMD.
The jaw itself is controlled by powerful muscles. Bruxism causes over or under-activation of certain muscle groups and restriction of the jaw joint itself, which over time results in pain and headaches.
In order to secure the best outcome, your chiropractor will use specific muscle and joint mobilisation techniques with a view to restoring better mechanical function. This, in turn, will reduce pain. Exercises and advice will then be given to prevent recurrence of the problem.
If you think you are suffering from TMD, you do not have to learn to live with it. Something can be done about it!
Our Guildford Chiropractors see patients who have suffered with this debilitating condition for years and, with hindsight, regret they had not received treatment sooner.
For further information please visit To Your Health.
Strictly Come Back Pain (Andy Hewitt DC)
It’s capable of hauling you around for years on end with no more than an occasional grumble after slumping too long in front of “Strictly.”
Being the custodian of your spinal cord is a heady job.
Would you want to protect the nervous system as it leaves the brain to connect with the rest of the body?
It’s no mean feat when you consider the spine is made up of 22 articulating vertebrae with spinal nerves exiting out of holes on the side at each level. These connect your brain with all parts of your body although judging from “Strictly” this isn’t always the case.
So a wobbly pile of bony articulating blocks somehow manages to do its job for years upon end with barely a grumble. It begs the question how on earth do we ever get beyond the first year of life without complete spinal meltdown?
The aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus would be chuffed to bits if they managed the same incredible levels of reliability as the spine. They have scheduled servicing and parts that get replaced after a certain number of hours regardless (sometimes sooner if it’ a Boeing).
So next time you’re out on the dance floor strutting a paso doble or cobbling together a slightly shoddy rumba, think of your spine.
Think about what a fabulous job it does and how we so often take our wonderful bodies for granted.
If your back has been niggling more than normal, pop it into see us at Guildford Chiropractic Centre for a service (no replacements possible).
Get a tune up and get those problems resolved before they escalate. So that next time you go out on to the dance floor to “bust some moves” as my kids call it, your body is better prepared.
Throw on some sequins, get out there dance like a hairy biker and, at the very least you’ll be having fun and that’s got to be good for you.
The story begins with a telephone call,
From the wife of a man who’s had a big fall.
A reluctant husband, hates people like me,
She’s insisted he come, what harm could it be?
Later that day through the door he crawled,
In absolute agony, on the floor he sprawled.
Screaming in pain, the other patients looked on;
Rather him not me, wouldn’t wish it upon.
Calming him down with a packet of ice,
Slow down the swelling, make it feel nice.
He sat in the chair, grumbled through it all
As I sat and listened about his big fall.
Turns out this was the tip of the iceberg,
It’s been two years he’s been out of work!
He was then examined and referred for an x-ray,
To look for damage and signs of spinal decay.
An extra bone he had on the base of his spine,
With its own fused joint on the right hand side.
I drafted up a plan to help get him well,
Get back to work and get out of this hell.
Through unique hands on treatment, exercise and diet
We were able to make that back pain go quiet.
As time went by and what I saw him achieve,
He regained his hope and something to believe.
By two months he was moving and totally pain free,
Regained a sense of humour and very happy.
“I wish I’d seen you sooner, shouldn’t have left it this long,
I can’t wait to go to work, now I’m this strong”
So yet another satisfied patient, all full of life.
Wasn’t all about him, don’t forget his dear wife.
A happier family, lives no longer out of whack.
“Thank you so much, for giving my husband back”.
Pot Holes Of Back Pain (Philip J Hehir DC)
Last week I was driving down one of our beautiful Surrey country roads. Lovely as they can be, they can be abundant with pot holes and rocks which really irritate the wheels of my car. Just as any luck would have it, I had a flat tyre by the time I reached home. Brilliant.
Off I went to the mechanic to have my tyres changed.
As with most motoring costs, the bill is usually more than you’d expect.
After quoting me on a some new tyres (wasn’t just the punctured one that needed replacing) the mechanic asked me that for an extra £40 he could check my wheel alignment and adjust it, if necessary.
My initial thought was, have you not taken enough already?
This man was in luck however, because as a chiropractor, I totally appreciate the importance of good alignment.
You see without the wheel alignment being checked my car would have quite comfortably driven off without any worries, for now at least. The tyres would however wear out much faster had the wheels not been straightened. My car just wouldn’t work at it’s best.
The spine can behave a bit like this. A joint that doesn’t sit well within it’s socket maybe ok for now, or it may be just a little achey, but it won’t be able to work at it’s optimum. And just like the tyres, will wear out prematurely.
The pot holes that cause back pain in your life include:
If you haven’t had your spine serviced or checked in a while, come and visit one of our Guildford Chiropractors.
We’ve been doing this for 60 years.