Joint pain and joint degeneration (osteoarthritis) has long been thought of as a natural consequence of aging and hard use. Cartilage breaks down in the joints over time. Repetitive use of certain joints can make them more prone to arthritis. Think of your grandmother, whose hands became gnarled and fingers became twisted after years of sewing and knitting. Or Shaquille O’Neal developing arthritis in his big toe after running, jumping, and dunking basketballs for years. Some joints are more prone to arthritis if they are used more than others.
But arthritis can also be a result of under-use. Movement in the joint helps protect it from degeneration. Cartilage gets its nutrients and retains its elasticity from using the joint. Underuse can cause further deterioration and pain.
Do you suffer from painful joints or degenerative arthritis? Argyle chiropractor Dr. Cody Doyle can help you stay active and reduce your pain. Call Doyle Chiropractic and Acupuncture at 817-767-5430 to make an appointment.
Exercise as a Treatment for Arthritis
One of the best ways to protect your joints is to keep them active. Motion helps your joints stay healthy and flexible. Getting regular exercise and taking the time to stretch can help your arthritis symptoms in a number of ways:
- Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight, which can lessen joint pain.
- Muscle strength helps take pressure off joints.
- Muscle tissue absorbs shock that may otherwise hit the joints.
- Stretching helps your damaged joints stay flexible and can reduce swelling.
If you are starting to experience joint degeneration, you can prevent things from getting worse by finding opportunities to exercise that don’t push you past your limits (and into pain). If you used to enjoy running, but now your left knee swells up and stiffens any time you jog, try something lower-impact. Walking, swimming, and cycling can deliver a lower-impact workout that keeps your muscles and joint moving and flexible.
Joint Degeneration Affects the Spine, As Well
Once you get to a point when you’re starting to feel the stiffness or swelling that can indicate osteoarthritis, you should also start thinking about your back. Your spine isn’t just one joint, but 29 individual joints that make up the vertebrae. Just like the other joints in your body, the vertebrae need exercise to keep the cartilage and discs from degenerating.
What kind of exercises are best for protecting the spine from joint degeneration? Any exercise that works out the core muscles of the back and abdomen. Pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi are great for the spine because they incorporate stretching and strengthening, while focusing on spinal alignment. Ultimately, as long as you are up and moving, rather than sitting for long hours every day, you’re going to be strengthening the muscles that support the spine and keep it flexible.
Arthritis Treatment with Argyle Chiropractor Dr. Cody Doyle
If you suffer from degenerative arthritis, visit Argyle chiropractor Dr. Cody Doyle. We have many potential treatments that might help you, depending on your symptoms and individual joint problems. Chiropractic treatments may help your case, or you may benefit more from myofascial release therapy, TENS treatment, or even acupuncture. Even if you just need help determining the best way to exercise without causing yourself more pain, Dr. Doyle can help! Call our office today at 817-767-5430 to make an appointment.