What Causes Joint Pain?
Degenerative joint disease, commonly referred to as arthritis, affects nearly 54 million Americans, according to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control survey. Of these, 15 million Americans develop severe arthritis-related pain. The most common form of arthritis, known as osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage in your joints wears away. This causes bone on bone grinding, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic. A variety of factors can cause osteoarthritis. These may include excess body weight, genetics, age and previous injury (i.e., ACL tear, rotator cuff tear, back injury, or scoliosis). Joint pain relief can be achieved by addressing all of the factors contributing to arthritis and chronic joint pain.
Osteoarthritis is not simply a ‘normal wear and tear process.’ If given the rights treatments, you can successfully manage osteoarthritis. The best way to manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis is by improving the health of cartilage within the joints. There are 3 key ingredients necessary to facilitate joint pain relief and repair:
Joints NEED to move
All joints are designed for one thing, and one thing only: movement. Joints, like muscle strength, balance, or muscle size, the are subject to the ‘use it or lose it’ philosophy. In fact, joint cartilage cells begin to deteriorate after only 2 hours of immobility! The problem often lies with the fact that joints affected by arthritis are painful, and hence people are prone to not using those joints for fear of having pain. This creates a vicious cycle wherein further lack of use causes more arthritis, which causes more pain, which results in less movement, and so on. Therapies such as chiropractic manipulation, osteopathic manipulation, massage therapy, yoga, and other bodywork therapies can aid in improving joint mobility and flexibility.
Joint cartilage NEED oxygen
Every tissue in the body needs nutrients and oxygen to survive. One problem adults face is that much of our cartilage tends to have a very poor blood supply in adulthood. Therefore, when joints and cartilage are injured, it can be difficult for your body to naturally repair those injuries. This is reduced blood circulation delivering less oxygen and nutrients.
Integrative medicine therapies utilized at the Natural Wellness & Pain Relief Center such as ozone therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can provide these necessary ingredients to help the body heal injured joints. Ozone therapy, for example, has been shown to increase the body’s natural production of regenerative cells in the injured joint. This may result in healing the damaged tissue. HBOT delivers 100% oxygen to the body, and slightly higher atmospheric pressure, to help push that oxygen into injured joints.
Joints NEED nutrients
Like every other cell in the body, joints and cartilage need nutrients in order to repair old injuries. For example, cartilage and ligament tissue require important nutrients such as vitamin C, quercetin, resveratrol, and other highly important antioxidants. These nutrient therapies, which can be provided both orally and/or intravenously, can provide the necessary building blocks from which the body can heal damaged tissue. In fact, according to Dr. Russel Jaffe, MD, PhD, chronic joint inflammation is often the result of what he refers to as a ‘repair deficit‘. This means that inflammation’s purpose is to heal an injury. As long as the injury is present, the inflammation will remain. When we give the body the appropriate amount of nutrients, the inflammatory cycle can finish repairing the injury. The inflammation goes away after the injury heals fully.
Joints NEED hormones
Many studies have shown that hormones such as thyroid hormone, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone may play an important role in the maintenance of joint health. This may be one of the chief reasons as to why arthritis is more prevalent among post-menopausal women and men with low testosterone. There are many integrative medicine strategies we can use to encourage optimal hormone production and utilization. We have options for young and older patients alike. There are even options for patients with a history of breast cancer who are hesitant to use hormone therapies. We individualize every treatment because, frankly, no two patients are the same.
The majority of current medical evidence suggests that successful management of arthritis symptoms requires a robust approach that address all of the requirements necessary for healthy joints. Joint pain relief is within reach! For more information on how we can help you with your arthritis symptoms, feel free to call our office at 810.694.3576 and schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with our medical director, Dr. Megan Strauchman.