Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947



Osteoarthritis.  Wear-and-tear. Age-related degeneration. Whatever you choose to call it, this process is a significant one for a huge percentage of the population.  We all know people who have had various joints replaced, or who struggle to keep active when the weather goes cold and damp because their joints start to hurt.

But what exactly happens?

Well, osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints.  The joints most commonly affected are those which bear most of your weight, such as your knees and hips, or those which are very mobile like your neck and shoulder joints.  Any damage to the joint will speed the process as well, whether this is a break in the bone that affected the joint surface, or simply an old whiplash-type injury.  As the joint is used, it slowly wears out in the same way any door hinge will become worn with time.  Healthy joints have a good, cushioning space between the two bones so that they are never actually in direct contact.  This space is filled with fluid; but as we use the joint more and more over our lifetimes that liquid dries out, the space gets smaller and the two bones forming the joint start to risk touching – and that hurts!  There is usually a smooth cartilage covering over the ends of the bones in the joint as well, but this also wears out with time and becomes rougher.  Again, this can be quite painful, and the grinding sensation it can produce in the joint is often disconcerting as well.

So your body steps in, and decides to do something about this problem.  It lays extra bone down around the joint, in an attempt to stabilise it.  In a simplistic way, this makes sense – it hurts when the joint moves, so the answer is going to be stop it moving!  This doesn’t really help you get around though, and if these bony spurs grow in the wrong direction or get too big, they can be painful or limiting in their own right.  Particularly in the spine, these bony outgrowths risk compressing the nerve, which can cause symptoms such as sciatica or pain going right down your arm.

There is no way to reverse these changes once they have happened.  Some spinal surgeons will consider shaving off bony spurs if they are risking the spinal nerves, but this doesn’t always work and is only used in severe cases.  So it’s a case of learning to make the best of what you have, keeping yourself as mobile as possible and managing the symptoms as they appear.

Chiropractic can help, when combines with other techniques recommended by your GP.  But the main thing to remember is that old maxim “USE IT OR LOSE IT!”.  Although doing more physical activity than your body is accustomed to can flare the symptoms, it is important to stay as active as possible.  The less you do, the less you will be able to do when you try.  So take regular walks, go swimming, take up yoga – whatever it takes to get you moving.  As long as the new activity is introduced slowly, your body will thank you for it by giving you many more painfree years than it would if you ignored it.

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01952 460 947

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

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