What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is the result of years of wear and tear on a joint. Over time, the cartilage in the joint begins to deteriorate. This results in an intensely painful condition, since the cartilage serves as a cushion between the bone ends of a joint, and allows for easy movement. Without the cartilage, the bones rub directly against each other. Not only is this extremely painful, it can result in stiffness and loss of movement in the joint.

Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease, ostoarthrosis, hypertrophic arthritis and degenerative arthritis. Different health care providers may use different terms to describe the same conditions. But no matter what name it goes by, osteoarthritis is a serious condition.

In the beginning stages of the disease,  the cartilage loses elasticity. This makes the joint more vulnerable to damage and/or injury.  Eventually the wearing down of the cartilage will cause the underlying bone to thicken, and cysts may form under the cartilage. In addition, bony growths, called bone spurs may develop near the bone end of the affected joint. As deterioration progresses, eventually bits of bone and/or cartilage will break off and float in the joint. Eventually the joint lining becomes inflamed. The inflammation causes the joint lining to  release proteins and enzymes that damage cartilage further.

Although this disease has been with mankind for thousands of years, it's exact cause is unknown. Heredity may play a factor, as well as other lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, there is also no known cure.  Traditional treatment for this disease typically includes pain medication to manage the symptoms and a combination of medication and/or physical therapy to slow down the progression of the disease. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.

Chiropractic practitioners, such as Dr. Peter Ferraro, can provide additional benefits in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Chiropractic adjustment restores normal joint alignment, significantly reducing the wear and tear of the cartilage. With the joint properly aligned, there is improvement in joint movement, and a significant reduction of  inflammation and pain. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, chiropractic treatment can drastically improve joint health and quality of life.