Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Extremity Joint Pain

Whilst Chiropractors are best known for treating complaints of the spine, we are actually able to assess and treat any joint or muscle in the body. The topics I will cover here include arthritis, muscle strains, sprained ankles and elbow dislocations, but please feel free to browse the rest of my site for more information about other complaints.

Your extremities – arms, hands, legs and feet – are just as likely to suffer from painful problems as your back; maybe even more likely, considering they are often heavily involved in everything we do during the day.  Of course, there are hundreds of different complaints that can affect your extremities and we would be here forever if I tried to tell you even just a little bit about them all, but I have tried to pick a few highlights for you here so that you can get an overall idea.  Some conditions I have covered in more detail in my articles about shoulder pain, tennis elbow and knee pain.

The most common forms of problem with extremities are muscle injuries and arthritis.  As I mentioned before, your arms and legs are often doing a lot of the work for you when you go about your life, and so the physical stresses placed on the joints does cause them to wear down over time.  For more detail on this condition, please read my article about osteoarthritis, but essentially the overuse of your joints will cause the space between the two bones to decrease and the cartilage to wear out, causing pain and inflammation.  There are many other forms of arthritis as well, which can affect your joints and aren’t caused by wear and tear;  these include rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which is an auto-immune condition that is often genetic in which your body attacks itself, or psoriatic arthritis where the joints begin to be affected by what is commonly recognised as a skin condition – psoriasis.  Chiropractic is not able to directly resolve any of these arthritic processes, but it can be helpful in managing osteoarthritis when combined with your normal arthritis management.

Muscle injuries are most commonly strains or partial tears – complete tears are also possible, but much less likely and usually require surgical intervention to repair the damage.  The role of chiropractic in these situations is to facilitate the correct healing of the muscle, both through the use of massage to increase the blood supply to the area and maximise the repair process, and through the use of stretches and strengthening exercises once recovery is underway to make sure the muscle doesn’t heal in a shortened, contracted position which makes it extremely likely to become injured again in the same place.

Another common injury is ankle sprains – many people have experience of this, where one simple missed step leads to them “going over” on the ankle with the result of one very swollen joint, often with some particularly lurid bruising.  But they just get better, right?  No treatment needed – the pain and bruising goes away, the swelling goes down and off you go again.  Wrong!  While the physical symptoms do seem to clear up, the damage to the ligaments of your ankle causes far-reaching consequences.  Essentially, a sprain of any joint is where the ligaments have been stressed beyond their normal capabilities, and they have begun to tear slightly.  The more severe the tear, the more severe the sprain, the more severe the pain (well, until you hit total rupture of the ligament, which actually tends to be painless....but that’s another matter altogether!).  Ligaments have a very poor blood supply, which makes them slow to heal, but in the end they will usually get there, providing there is no further injury.  So why all the fuss?

Well, contained within the ligaments of your ankle are nerve endings which tell you where the ground is.  When you damage the ligaments, you damage the nerve endings and if you think ligaments are slow to heal, wait till you try and get a nerve to repair!  So once you have sprained your ankle, your body is less capable of telling you where the ground is.  Not too much of a problem on flat, stable surfaces, but the minute you start walking over uneven ground you will find you are much more likely to stumble and trip – it is a well-recognised fact that once you have sprained your ankle once, if you don’t get it properly attended to, you are very likely to end up spraining it again and again.  This process, however, can be reversed with proper management.

So, there’s a very quick idea of a few problems that can affect our arms, legs, hands and feet.  As I said before, if it’s a joint or a muscle your Chiropractor should be able to at least tell you what might be wrong with it and can often help you get back on the road to living a happy, healthy, pain-free life!

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01952 460 947

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic,
5 Dyas Close, Shifnal
TF11 9BQ

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