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How Most People Damage Their Joints

We take our joints for granted

We take our joints for granted

We take our joints for granted, but when clients visit the chiropractor, joint damage can be part of the issue. Joint damage is more likely to be caused by a lack of good, full joint motion rather than overuse.

“It’s easy to assume a lifetime of activity is to blame; that with every movement our limbs make, we are literally wearing the cartilage in our joints away. But the idea our joints are like light bulbs or car tyres with a limited number of ‘uses’ before their lifetime expires is simply untrue”, says rheumatologist Professor Patrick McNeil.

“Plenty of older people who’ve been active all their lives never develop osteoarthritis”, he points out. “And this misguided view can lead to people avoiding exercise, which has an important role in keeping joints healthy.”

“I think it’s a myth to make the general statement that exercise is bad for your joints or actually wears your joints out,” McNeil says. “There’s no evidence for that.”

Studies indicate that chiropractic care and exercise reduce the rate of joint degeneration over time. This is because movement of joints stimulates the nerve supply to the area, pumps in oxygen and nutrients and stimulates fibroblast activity.

Fibroblasts are a type of cell that plays a critical role in wound healing and are the most common type of cells in connective tissue – including cartilage. Movement and stimulation after injury activate these cells to heal.

Chiropractic care focuses on the better motion of joints, together with improved nerve activity, two crucial components of healing. This is why chiropractors like to check the spine and encourage better joint motion; this reduces stiffness and pain but in the long term can have great health benefits.

Often those whose family members have suffered from joint degeneration are overly cautious about exercising and stretching their joints.

Rather than being shy of exercise it is an important part of the overall care of the joint. The correct type of activity will work the joint through repetitive motion and stretch the joint through a full range. Swimming, a challenging walk, pilates and yoga are good examples of this.

Caution should be taken if you suspect that you have an inflammatory joint problem as inflammation can result in joint damage. To be sure contact Dr Jonathan at Inspired Chiropractic Norwich and ask for advice.

Noisy joints are also a concern for may people. “Whilst joint noises might be alarming, not all noises are signs of a problem resulting in joint damage. For instance, any movement that causes a sudden change in joint volume can make a cracking sound”, says Deakin University pain specialist Dr Michael Vagg. “The noise you get when you crack your knuckles is one example. Long-term evidence has shown this habit to be harmless.”

If you are concerned about the health of your joints please ask Dr Jonathan, Norwich Chiropractor.

Quotes from “Healthy joints: keep them moving”. by Cathy Johnson (ABC 14.11.2013)


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