Does Chiropractic Treatment Help Arthritis and Joint Pain?
The challenge of living with arthritis joint pain may force patients to look outside traditional medicine options to alternative treatments like chiropractic care.
But while many people may think of the chiropractor whenever they think of joint pain, The Arthritis Foundation said it’s important that arthritis patients, particularly those with rheumatoid arthritis, avoid joint manipulation while they are in the middle of an arthritis flare.
“If a patient has joints that have active swelling, I would not recommend going to a chiropractor,” Alyce Oliver, assistant professor of rheumatology at the Medical College of Georgia, told The Arthritis Foundation. “If you can’t get swelling under control, it would be dangerous to get an adjustment. If the disease is under control with medication and the patient has no cervical involvement, it could be OK to go.
Patients should consult with their rheumatologist before going to the chiropractor, she added.
Chiropractic care can be helpful for arthritis pain, as one case published on the National Institutes of Health website illustrated. In this case, an elderly woman with osteoarthritis in her hip received a 12-week round of chiropractic care. It was determined that she had an increased range of motion, better balance, and decreased disability. The study, however, did not follow up on the long-term effects of the chiropractic treatment.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that a review of scientific literature found that chiropractic care, in conjunction with glucosamine supplements and other exercise, can be helpful in treating osteoarthritis.
While no evidence suggests that chiropractors can stop joint damage, the treatment has been found to relax muscles, increase motion range, and improve joint coordination, among other things, the site said.
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