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Osteoarthritis: This is commonly referred to “wear and tear” arthritis. It is a degeneration of the cartilage matrix in the joints. Eventually it wears thin and the bones start to rub on each other, creating swelling, inflammation and pain. It is most common with people over 50 but can occur at any age. It primarily occurs in weight bearing joints-knees, hips and spine. It can also happen in joints that are constantly used i.e. hands and fingers

Some of the prevailing symptoms are:

Pain in the joint after exercise
Joint stiffness upon arising
Joint mobility decreases in time or may possibly freeze
Over time, joint deformity develops
Sharp or grinding pain

Often this is confirmed by radiographic findings of bone spurs, joint narrowing and bone deformity with the involved areas.

Some of the major causes are:

Trauma to the area
Long term aspirin and NSAID use
Overuse of the involved joints
Poor biomechanics
Poor nutritional intake
Mineral and nutrient deficiency
Adrenal stress

Therapies used to address osteoarthritis include:

Chiropractic care
Exercise and rehabilitation program
Natural anti-inflammatories and supplementation for tissue repair
Dietary changes to remove pro-inflammatory foods and eating habits
Postural awareness techniques
Stress reduction-mental, structural and biochemical related

Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system recognizes its own tissues surrounding and inside he joint as a foreign invader. It sets out to attack it and remove it as it would do with any other pathogen. It forms molecular complexes that infiltrate the joint and destroy the cartilage and surrounding tissues and fluids, leaving scar tissue as a replacement. This occurs in women three times more frequently and usually it happens between the ages of 20-50. 2.1 million Americans suffer with this malady.

It usually has a slow onset and affects the joints symmetrically. It starts in the smaller joints of the hands, wrist, feet and ankles and slowly progresses to the larger joints. It can get so sever it can lock up the joints.

It is confirmed by an RA factor in blood tests.

The following symptoms accompany RA:

Nodules under the skin
Low grade fever
Swollen lymph nodes
Inflammation of the blood vessels

The following factors are implicated in the development of RA:

Onset is often accompanied by physical and/or emotional stress
Bacterial infection
Intestinal permeability which can lead to
Food allergies
Uncontrolled free radical production
Microflora imbalance
Poor nutrition
Microrganisms i.e Klebsiella pneumoniae

The following modalities are used to address RA

Laboratory and Applied Kinesiolgy testing to determine:
Bacterial infection
Intestinal permeability
Food allergies
Adrenal stress
Dietary changes to remove food sensitivities, pro-inflammatory foods and eating habits
Supplementation to rebuild the immune system, tissue repair and decrease inflammation
Chiropractic care including cranial-sacral therapy
Specific therapies to address any positive findings from the laboratory and/or muscle testing

Other autoimmune disease closely related to RA are lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and scleeroderma.