Coping With the Pain of Arthritis

When you walk down your street, you likely don’t spend much time thinking about statistics. By the time you reach the end of your block, however, you’ve probably walked by someone who is suffering from a serious health condition to which there is no cure: arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Society, 1 out of every 5 people live with arthritis every day. That means It’s more common than most people realize, and it certainly doesn’t only affect the older population.

Arthritis is a term used to describe well over 100 different conditions. It affects joints and all surrounding tissues. Typically, arthritis is characterized by pain, stiffness, redness, or swelling. If left unchecked, it can spread to surrounding areas, too. Arthritis is marked by inflammation, which is irritation in a certain part of the body. Over time, inflammation can result in a loss of function or even disability.

The Devastating Effects of Arthritis

The term “arthro” means joint, and “itis” refers to inflammation. There is no specific part of the body that arthritis affects; rather, it can happen anywhere. Most often, however, it affects the 

  • Fingers
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Spine
  • Other weight-bearing joints

The symptoms people with arthritis experience may be more mild but are often severe. Arthritis is chronic, which means it continues over months, years, or even a person’s entire lifetime. 

Along with the pain that most people associate with arthritis, sufferers also commonly have fatigue, restricted mobility, and mood-related effects from their condition. Because of these difficulties, people with arthritis may have trouble getting restful sleep and completing daily activities. Many are unable to work, living an existence that’s simply too full of pain. Naturally, those with arthritis are more likely to experience poor levels of mental health or mood disorders. 

The Two Main Types of Arthritis

To simplify this collection of conditions, arthritis is typically grouped in one of two categories: 

  1. Osteoarthritis. The most common type, osteoarthritis affects more people than the other forms combined. The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) defines this condition as the result of the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues. 

Though osteoarthritis may occur from age-related deterioration, it can also result in response to injury. The cartilage slowly breaks down, leaving bone-on-bone contact. 

  1. Inflammatory arthritis. In this form of arthritis, the symptoms are a result of joint damage instead of cartilage that’s been worn away. Most commonly, there is an autoimmune component, where the body’s defense system mistakenly begins attacking the body’s healthy tissues. Without the proper treatment given quickly, inflammatory arthritis can progress aggressively. 

Can Chiropractic Help? 

Since there are so many types of arthritis, it’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis. That’s where we can help. We will perform testing on your spine, joints, muscles, and other tissues, as well as your nervous system, to give you an accurate evaluation of your condition. From this starting point, we will be able to make the best recommendations on how to get the help you’re seeking. 


Making Sense of the Many Types of Headaches

Most people experience a difficult bout of headaches at some point during their life. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably struggled with at least the occasional headache. But did you know that there are several different types of them, each with their own causes and unique symptoms? 

The most common include cervicogenic, tension, sinus, and migraines. Read on to learn more about the various types of headaches.

The Basics of Cervicogenic Headaches

Does your head pain seem to originate from your neck? If so, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing a cervicogenic headache. When you move your neck, you’ll likely feel quite a bit of tension there. These forms of headaches can happen when your head and neck remain fixed in a single position for some time, such as when you’re sitting for a while and working at your desk, staring at a computer.

The main symptoms involved in a cervicogenic headache include

  • Pain on one side of your head
  • Facial or eye pain
  • A steady form of discomfort
  • Worsening pain when you take a deep breath, sneeze or cough
  • Pain that lasts for hours or days
  • A stiff neck

Tension Headaches

Have you ever felt a headache that made it seem like there was a tight band wrapped around your head? That’s the most common symptom of a tension headache. The pain may be mild to moderate.

The signs that you’re experiencing a tension headache include

  • A head pain that feels dull and achy
  • A sensation of pressure or tightness around your head
  • Sensitivity in your shoulders, neck and scalp 

A Pain in the Sinuses

You know the feeling when you’re sick and congested: there’s a pounding pain around your eyes, on your forehead and in your cheeks. In fact, your entire head is throbbing! You don’t necessarily have to be sick with a cold, however, to experience a sinus headache. 

The symptoms of a sinus headache include

  • A sensation of pressure or fullness in the brow, cheeks or forehead
  • Pain that worsens when you bend down or lie down
  • A stuffy nose
  • An aching feeling in your upper teeth
  • Fatigue

Myriads of Migraine Types

Though other headaches are no cakewalk, migraines can be thought of as some of the worst. That’s because they’re commonly accompanied by extreme sensitivity to sound and light, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. If you get a migraine, the pain may last for up to several days, and you are likely unable to complete your daily activities. 

Migraines can come with some warning signs. For example, you may see an aura, or a visual disturbance. The aura might be a blind spot or flashes of light. Many report feeling a tingling sensation in their arm, leg or one side of their face before a migraine comes on.

Chiropractic is a highly effective way to help with many types of headaches. Chiropractors are well-known for their ability to care for headache sufferers, whether they originate from your head, neck or the rest of your spine. Along with spinal adjustments, we can provide assistance with your posture and ergonomics, making sure that you are set up in the best possible way to avoid any type of headache.