Many people do not realize chiropractic care is not limited to only the joints of the spine. Though not all chiropractors adjust beyond the spine, at Natural Balance Wellness Center we have great success treating conditions of the extremities along with spinal adjustments. So, what exactly do we mean by joint pain?
Joints are where one bone connects with another. They are the space between that allow for proper movement and function. Our body has many different types of joints, from those that barely move at all, like the sutures in your skull, to joints that move in many different directions, like your shoulder and hip. We know that when the joints move properly, your muscles and ligaments do not become stressed and therefore decrease chances of injury or pain occurring.
However, when joints do not work properly, this leads to a whole host of problems. Primarily, when the joints do not work properly, the muscles and ligaments cannot function properly either. They will tend to either shorten or elongate, depending on the joint problem. When this occurs, this can lead to pain, muscle tightness, or nerve pressure that causes numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or muscle weakening. Commonly, a minor problem can become a chronic and more debilitating condition unless the underlying issue is resolved.
There are countless reasons a joint may become stressed or misaligned. There are three basic factors though.
- Most common is a mechanical cause or injury.
- Macro trauma (large trauma) – such as a car crash, athletic injury, or bad fall that creates an injury to that joint, muscle, or ligament (or combination) surrounding that joint.
- Micro trauma (repetitive use injury) certainly can lead to joint damage as well. This is common in careers utilizing repetitive motion like construction trades, computer work, or even in athletes like pitchers, swimmers, or tennis players.
- Another factor is chemical. If your diet is inflammatory, you will be more likely to swell easily and be susceptible to more injury.
- The third factor that affects joint function is mental. This is apparent when people are under stress. Many times they will get headaches, back pain, neck pain, stomach pain, etc. Stress affects the hormones and chemicals in your body and can create an environment where healthy joint function is hard to maintain.
Chiropractors correct the underlying cause of joint dysfunction so that the body can restore normal range of motion in the joint allowing for the compensatory soft tissue reactions to heal. It is through this manner that chiropractors are best suited to deal with joint pain and dysfunction. Remember, many joint injuries can be fixed naturally, without risky surgery.