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“A Touch of Arthritis”

“A Touch Of Arthritis…”

Many times in my clinic patients come in looking for relief from a particular symptom. I go through their paperwork and start asking them about their problem and commonly, I hear, “I think it’s just a touch of arthritis sometimes.” I blink, pause my pen, and then carry on, because I’ve heard it so often I just accept it as something I need to educate my patients about. In this short post we are going to discuss this further and hopefully shed some light on this condition.

This is exactly what I tell my patients. Let’s break down the word arthritis.  Arthro means joint and itis means inflammation, so Arthritis means inflamed joint. There are different types of arthritis but we are going to separate them into two groups: mechanical and metabolic arthritis. A metabolic type of arthritis that most have heard of is Rheumatoid Arthritis. (There are some subsets that are similar as well.) Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune condition where your own immune system attacks your joints. The other group is a mechanical type. A mechanical type has generally two different causes, a fractured joint from a sporting activity or some other injury that will generally cause the joint to have arthritis. The most common mechanical type of arthritis or degenerative joint disease that we see that is not from an auto-immune problem or post fracture, is bad mechanics.

Bad mechanics come in many forms, spending all day hunched over a computer, looking down at our phones for hours texting like our kids, working at a factory hanging car doors on the right side of the car for 50 hours a week, it goes on and on. Keeping it simple, the same motion performed for a lengthy period or repeated hundreds of times a day will eventually break down the joint pattern and your spine will show evidence of wear and tear on an xray, much like a river will eventually erode the banks of the land it flows through. Meaning, your bones will actually change from their normal appearance into something that looks like little bony projections. These are known as osteophytes, and they look like little claws. This is the body accommodating to the repetitive and or irregular motion of either your work or hobby activity. The bad thing here is the body is trying to stabilize itself but it reduces motion, and when a joint starts to lose motion you are losing the function it was designed for.  Other parts of the body then have to “pick up the slack” and then they become endangered to the same fate!

So with this information, you can understand when I tell patients that “a touch of arthritis” is like a touch of dead or a touch of pregnant—you either have it or you don’t. It usually gets a laugh when put in that perspective. I go on to explain that you may be symptomatic today or not but if we take an xray after your symptoms are gone, you would still have the signs of arthritis, and most people have an “A-ha” moment.

Health By Logic in Beavercreek treats people with this condition not a daily basis, but probably an hourly basis! Take time and look around at friends and co-workers today and evaluate how many people spend most of their day with their head forward or looking down and you will soon realize why arthritis is such a common thing that is talked about with doctors, friends, and coworkers.

Have a great week everyone and we look forward to seeing you in the clinic!

Dr. Scott Ferguson, D. C.

Health By Logic

www.healthbylogic.com

937.426.0777

1450 Hanes Rd. Suite C

Beavercreek, OH 45434