Consider these facts about ARTHRITIS:
- Arthritis is the #1 cause of disability in New Zealand
- More than 500,000 people are affected by arthritis during their lifetime
- 25,440 New Zealanders will not be able to work this year due to arthritis
- Women get arthritis more than men
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis – and is NOT hereditary
- Sports and other injuries can lead to osteoarthritis due to joint instability
- According to Arthritis NZ over 300,000 New Zealanders are living with osteoarthritis
- Your Doctor of Chiropractic can do a lot to help you cope with arthritis easier
Dr Cherye Roche, Clinical Director and Principle Chiropractor at Pure Healthcare in Albany, notes that research, in the management of arthritis, indicates that patients are relying too much on pharmaceutical medications, with potentially dangerous side effects, that are only treating the symptoms and not addressing the underlying cause – joint dysfunction. This is where a holistic approach, including Chiropractic care, nutritional supplementation and rehab/exercise advice can help patients to slow the progression of the osteoarthritis, by treating the underlying cause, while simultaneously managing the symptoms, with natural treatments and remedies, that do not have potentially dangerous side effects, and can help you to get moving again.
Dr. Roche recommends the following basic plan to help support healthy joint function, and minimize the possibility of further degeneration:
Get checked out! - Having every member of the family checked by your Doctor of Chiropractic can help the joints of the extremities, as well as the spine and nervous system, to function at an optimal level for overall health and well-being. We can also give you great advice on making positive lifestyle changes. At Pure Healthcare, Dr. Roche and her team of practitioners can co-ordinate your care with their Acupuncture, Massage and Natural medicine practitioners to put together a plan to get you out of pain and moving again.
Move it or lose it! – But you must be moving intelligently. So, if you have arthritis, then the local boot-camp or cross-fit class may not be a good move as this will likely be too much too fast. Get exercise and rehab advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner. Doing a few minutes of simple exercises, recommended by the right practitioner every day, can help improve posture, stabilize core muscle groups, enhance health and prevent joint disability. “Local muscle strengthening and general aerobic fitness together with manipulation and stretching should be the core treatments for managing osteoarthritis”. This is according to a major update on guidance to healthcare professionals from the influential UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) entitled “SIGNIFICANT ROLE FOR CHIROPRACTORS IN MANAGEMENT OF OSTEOARTHRITIS ACCORDING TO NEW CLINICAL GUIDELINES”. Dr. Hayden Thomas from the The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) has welcomed the guidance, which recommends care that is widely available from the country’s chiropractors who are experts in manipulation of the spine and extremities. Dr. Cherye Roche, endorses Dr. Hayden’s comments, and adds that the best way to treat osteoarthritis is to prevent it in the first place.
Watch your posture - It is also important to stand and sit correctly, and to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch if you have been sitting down for a while. This will help to stop muscles getting tight and strained and keep the joints “lubricated”. Chiropractors have been advising people about proper sitting and standing posture for decades and can help you to “straighten up” in a balanced and proper manner.
Get your FEET checked – your feet are the foundation of your entire musculoskeletal system. Flat feet, fallen arches, and over- pronation of the feet, especially when one side is worse than the other, can significantly increase your chance of suffering with arthritis due to wear and tear on the joints from improper foot motion that impacts the feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis and spine. According to http://oahealthinfo.com/orthotics.php, (an information and support website for people with osteoarthritis), “custom foot orthotics can serve an important role in the treatment of osteoarthritis in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and spine. Healthcare professionals who are skilled in the treatment of osteoarthritis can advise whether orthotics would be helpful and how to get the correct type for your individual needs. They can also advise on the appropriate footwear and how to acquire orthotics that will fit and work in a wide variety of shoes”. At Pure Healthcare in Albany, Dr. Roche uses GaitScan® technology to analyze your functional gait and, if you are a candidate for orthotics, to prescribe custom orthotics based on the data from the scan.
Each of these recommendations alone is great, but in combination they are a real winning strategy. It makes sense to take a ‘Wholistic” approach to any healthcare issue, and this is true for osteoarthritis as well. If you, or someone you love is suffering from chronic joint pains, please call and schedule a FREE Discovery session with Dr. Cherye Roche to see if an alternative approach is right for you.