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Most of us grew up being warned by family and friends not to pop our knuckles because it causes arthritis. It sounds like a scary word, and we all know to associate it with aging and joint pain. However, there is a very small number of us who know what arthritis actually is. And the truth is, the word arthritis is used as an informal, generic term for joint pain and joint disease. There are, in fact, many joint conditions that can be classified as arthritis – which partially explains why it is the leading cause of disability in America. Today we will be focusing on the most common form of arthritis: osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the soft tissue supporting bone begins to degenerate. In the spine, this degeneration can cause bone spurs, bulging discs, herniated discs, disease, headaches, digestion issues and more. Although the diagnosis of these degenerative changes is nearly universal, the cause of osteoarthritis is highly misunderstood by mainstream medicine.
According to WebMD, “osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity.” Now, a few of these points are not off base. It is true that an injury to the spine which damages disc tissue can cause arthritic changes over time – and obesity can cause unnecessary stress on the joints leading to the degeneration of soft tissue as well. But obesity and injury are the least common causes medical doctors attribute to osteoarthritis. In the majority of cases, many doctors will tell patients that the arthritic changes in their spine are due to old age. This is absolutely not true.
Old age is not the cause of osteoarthritis in the spine. The truth is that degenerative changes in the soft tissue between the vertebrae are a result of postural distortions and misalignments. When the spine is out of alignment, a negative domino effect occurs called Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) – where osteoarthritis is the end result.
In a nutshell, the misalignment of the vertebrae leads to increased stress on the spinal chord and nerves as well as a decrease in the ability for the spine to evenly displace the force of gravity. This leads to degeneration of the disc tissue – and in an attempt to prevent and alleviate the impact of the misalignment, cells called osteoblasts lay down bone which forms bone spurs. The end result of this process is what doctors call osteoarthritis in the spine.
When it comes to finding impactful treatment for disease, it is crucial that the root causes of symptoms are identified. Imagine taking your car to a car mechanic because your check engine light is on and the mechanic decides to simply turn the light off instead of finding out why it came on in the first place. What a rip-off! It is a shame that people don’t think of the human body in the same way a good mechanic thinks of repairing a car.
So, when it comes to osteoarthritis, it has been proven that the misalignment of the spine is the cause. Therefore, the solution is to restore the proper position of the spine as well as prevent misalignments in the future. By realigning the spine back to its normal position, you prevent future degeneration in the joints. And here is the coolest part: the body begins to utilize cells called osteoclasts to reverse current arthritic changes in the spine including bone spurs. Below are x-rays of a patient’s neck where you can see his bone spurs have nearly disappeared due to osteoclasts. You can see the bone spurs outlined in red on the “before” image on the left.
The first and most important thing you can do right now to fix misalignments in your spine is to improve your everyday posture. If you haven’t checked out our free video in which Dr. Terry explains 3 of the most important things you can do right now to improve the position of your spine, click here.
Correcting your everyday posture will not, on its own, correct the position of your spine. The most effective and proven way to do this is through Chiropractic Biophysics. If you live in the Boulder/Denver area in Colorado, give us a call at (303) 440-0500 to see if you are qualified for corrective care. If you are reading this and you live somewhere else, you can find a Doctor that practices Chiropractic Biophysics by clicking Here. It is important to make sure the doctor you decide to accept care with does lumbar and thoracic traction as many CBP doctors only practice cervical traction.
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I reached a breaking point earlier last year when I experienced a migraine for about three months. Since I have been coming to see Dr. Terry I have been migraine free for four months. Not one migraine – it’s magic.
After one month of coming in for tractions and adjustments my headaches went away– and now after several months of traction with the spine, the curvature in my neck is back in a normal range.
My experience with chiropractors spans over a decade and the experience with Dr. Terry has been amazing. He is irreplaceable. He knows exactly how to fix my back.
I am already seeing more clearly– I was having incredible challenges with my vision, with my digestion with my brain function and my energy levels…