ON Chiropractic Winter 2014 - Page 19

ON Chiropractic FEATURE STORY / OSTEOARTHRITIS I t is very common for chiropractors to provide treatment to osteoarthritis patients both before and after the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Recent research indicates that chiropractic care in conjunction with other therapies, predominantly exercise and education, can result in reduced pain and increased mobility for these patients. Risk Factors and Diagnosis: f more than 100 types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. It is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide, predominantly impacting the hips, knees, hands and spinal facets. Prevalence of osteoarthritis increases with age, with a sharp increase after age 70. It does not only impact senior patients, however. Previous injury and overloading joints, for instance, have been connected to onset of secondary osteoarthritis. Systemic factors, such as family history and lifestyle, can play a role in the development of osteoarthritis as well. Excessive weight in the lower extremities is particularly problematic as the added strain can hasten or exacerbate symptoms. At least one study has demonstrated that incidences of knee, hip and hand osteoarthritis in women increase around the time of menopause, indicating a possible hormonal causation. A 2013 article in Osteoarthritis Cartilage points out that osteoarthritis is not a single disease, but rather a common end stage phenotype of many different disease processes which involve joint tissues.b Osteoarthritis involves damage to and loss of articular cartilage, remodeling o