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Pain from Degenerative Joint Disease

ProActive Chiropractic provides expert chiropractic adjustments for pain from degenerative joint disease in San Francisco CA.  

Anatomy:

Between every bone in our body is a joint, primarily made up of cartilaginous fibers. There are 147 joints in the vertebral column, 24 joints in the thorax, 86 joints in the upper extremity, 92 joints in the lower extremity, and 11 joints in the pelvis for a total of 360 joints in the human body. Joints are the points of the body where two bones link together. Joints have two main purposes: provide movement to the limbs and stability in the skull. There are six different types of moveable or synovial (diarthrosis) joints: ball and socket (like the hip), hinge (like the elbow), condyloid (like the fingers), pivot (like the upper neck), gliding (like in your wrists), and saddle (like the sternoclavicular joint of the chest). Joints are an integral part of the body and the way it functions.  

Background:

Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), also known as osteoarthritis (OA) or “wear and tear arthritis,” is a progressive disorder that affects the cartilage surrounding the area of bone that moves inside the joint. Joints act as a cushion for bones and when they degrade or break down, the bones end up rubbing against each other. This results in inflammation, swollen joints, and pain. Osteoarthritis is commonly caused by trauma, obesity, overuse, weak muscles and/or age. Gender is also a risk factor, as women are more likely to develop it over men. 

It currently affects over 32 million American adults and millions more worldwide, making it the most common form of arthritis. It usually starts mid age (50’s), but can start as early as in your twenties. The chances of developing and increasing the progression of the disease increases with age. DJD is typically seen in weight bearing joints, such as the knee or hip, and is also common in the hands and neck. However, it is not limited to just these areas, as it can occur in any joint.  

Patients suffering from this disorder often express pain, stiffness, clicking sounds, and a decrease in range of motion that is especially noted at the end of the day or after activity. The symptoms tend to come on gradually as the cartilage between the bones wear down and become uneven.  

Osteoarthritis is pretty much inevitable when you live an active lifestyle like most of us do. The key is to manage it, so that we are able to continue to do what we love most and keep it from getting worse. Wear and tear is normal, but we want to limit it as best as we can. By keeping you aligned and giving you the tools you need to be proactive about your joints, we can keep you active and pain free.  

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT:

At ProActive Chiropractic, we not only educate our patients on ways to take control of their healing process, but also help restore motion in the restricted joints that are causing pain. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, we can prevent it from getting worse and provide pain relief in a holistic way. 

In addition to manual adjusting techniques, our doctors have extensive experience when using tools like Graston, Myofascial Release Technique and Low Level Laser Therapy. Rehab stretches and exercises are also prescribed in order to help strengthen weak muscles that are critical for joint stability and lengthen tight muscles necessary for proper motion.

Our hands-on approach will increase your flexibility, help circulate blood flow and nutrients to the area and decrease your pain efficiently to get you back doing the things you love in a non-invasive way.  

Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy (CMT):

Scientific evidence proves that chiropractic techniques help patients by restoring joint mobility to provide proper functional movement patterns and balance out the nervous system. This decreases spasms, stiffness, and pain while promoting optimal health. 

We have many options to address the structural components that contribute to your pain. We always consider our patient’s preferences first, so when it comes to corrective adjustments, we provide a variety of methods to achieve this goal. Our specialty is manual adjustments. We are experienced in high velocity, low amplitude manipulations to the joints of the body in order to deliver the most comfortable and effective adjustments.  

Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can help relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis without the use of prescription medication and surgery, which can cause more harm than good. Many of our patients ask our doctors about cortisone injections, which their primary care physician or MD suggest for their pain. Although these injections do their job in the short run and relieves patients in an immediate sense, they eat away at the joints and ligaments in the long run.  

Graston Technique and Fibroblaster Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) Tools:

When joints get stuck, the soft tissue structures around them suffer as well. When the muscles and connective tissues around the joint are not moving and gliding along each other, scar tissue and fascial distortion occurs. We have multiple tools of different sizes and shapes to help address these issues. 

Graston is a patent protected, innovative instrument that assists in soft-tissue mobilization, improving flexibility and decreasing pain by effectively breaking down fascial restrictions and removing scar tissue between muscles. Proactive Chiropractic is Graston certified and a Preferred Provider®. 

Fibroblaster IASTM Tools help our doctors diagnose and treat patients by providing controlled microtrauma to break scar tissue and fascial restrictions to restore full range of motion to keep you in the game. 

We never want to sell you anything that does not serve you. If your custom orthotics need to be tweaked to your liking or you do not like them for any reason after wearing them for 45 days, we will remake your orthotics or give you a full refund. Put your best foot forward and try them out! You have absolutely nothing to lose!   

Therapeutic Exercises: 

Our journey to improve your health and wellness does not stop when you leave the office. At ProActive Chiropractic, we honor a mutual collaborative effort by our doctors and you, our patients. While in our office, we believe it is our job to manually correct the underlying source of your pain by adjusting and performing techniques that you would not be able to do on your own. We then encourage you to perform customized rehabilitative exercises at home, in the office, or at the gym to better hold the adjustments made. We believe in a team approach where the doctors will align and balance patients on the table, and patients do their part in building the right habits, muscles, and strength to hold those adjustments. These specific exercises help relax painfully tight muscles and build strength to key muscles groups which are imperative for spinal support. 

We understand that educating our patients on their condition and teaching them how to prevent it is key to success. We want our patients to know when to come into the office and when they can fix ailments on their own. Our goal is always to save you time and money.   

We constantly want to be a part of the newest workout routines, machines, tools, and fads. But is it good for us? These new trends are made to hype up new training licenses, not necessarily because they have been researched and proven to help improve health.   

The exercises given at ProActive Chiropractic are designed to focus on the smaller, undercompensated muscles that support the joints, ligaments, and deep muscles that help with posture and overall performance. The truth is that new workouts emerge for purposes of more certifications to promote the fitness business. They consist of complex movements that people cannot efficiently achieve without going back to the basics. You crawl before you walk, right? Same concept.  

Sure, you can perform these complicated exercises, but are you using the right muscle groups to perform them, or are you creating more of an imbalance and thus pain? Are you breathing correctly and can your brain connect to all the different muscles of your body so that one muscle group is not taking the brunt of the work for another muscle group? The doctors at ProActive Chiropractic will let you know! They will literally show and teach you the tools to perform these exercises properly, leaving you pain-free and even improve your posture. Check out some of our favorite therapeutic exercises on our YouTube channel! 

We are excited to help you get back to the movement you love; and, by performing the prescribed exercises given by our doctors, we will get you there in no time!  

Kinesiology Tape: 

Kinesio Taping is a rehabilitative taping technique to increase stability around hypermobile joints. Additionally, the tape offers better circulation to the injured area, reduction of swelling and inflammation, speedy recovery of overused muscles, and reduced muscle cramping.  

We use different types of kinesiology and medical tape to suit your needs. When using tape as a brace, the doctors at ProActive make sure to give you the support you need while also allowing the surrounding muscles to properly engage so that your own muscle and body becomes a natural brace for itself as a result. Depending on allergies, sport, and how much you sweat, the doctors will use their expertise to know which tape and style of taping is needed for you!  

NormaTec:

NormaTec sleeves have been scientifically proven to enhance the body’s natural ability to recover, increase circulation, reduce pain, rejuvenate muscles, boost flexibility, and clear out lactate and metabolites. The benefits of NormaTec are so significant that 97% of professional teams rely on its technology to train harder and achieve more. Check out what the buzz is all about here: https://www.normatecrecovery.com/news/

At the end of the day, this device feels like a nice massage. Our patients usually find time in their busy schedules to come in, kick up their feet, relax, and meditate or look over emails while receiving all the great benefits of NormaTec.   

Denneroll Neck Orthotic:

In addition to the hands-on services provided in the office, we also offer clinically proven products shown to reverse the damaging effects of trauma, age, and bad posture. The Denneroll is one of them. 

Normally, your cervical spine should be presented with a healthy curve (similar to a wide shaped “C”) that points toward the front of your body, called a lordosis. This allows our nerves, ligaments, and muscles to function properly. When we lose that cervical lordosis structure and our necks become more straight, it is considered an abnormal cervical lordosis or reversal of cervical lordosis. This can happen as a result of age, repetitive slouching, spending too much time in front of electronics in a sustained position, trauma, and even stress. It causes unwanted muscle discomfort and degeneration of discs, which can lead to nerve issues. 

The doctors here often get asked which neck hammock, traction devices, braces, supportive clothing, and reminder buzzers are best for pain associated with sitting at a desk all day. Although there are plenty of choices on the market that are said to improve posture and decrease pain, not enough reliable research has shown that these products actually accomplish what you need.   

Numerous evidence-based studies have proven that correcting abnormal cervical lordosis will alleviate pain and muscle tension, while enhancing posture, comfort, and overall health. The Denneroll helps facilitate normal cervical lordosis to help create balance between the nerves, ligaments, muscles, and joints of your upper body. It is a great tool in conjunction with chiropractic care because it helps keep your adjustments longer to keep you feeling pain free and back to work, back to play.   

Posture Pointers: 

“Sit up straight!” “Stop slouching!” “Chin up, chest out, abs in!” We have all heard these cues from our parents, partners, coaches, personal trainers, fitness instructors, and doctors. Being conscious about the way you sit, stand, and perform exercises is a start, but what if the structures of your body simply will not allow you to get in that perfect posture position? What is perfect posture anyway?!   

The doctors at ProActive Chiropractic take the time to educate patients on proper posture and how to achieve it. We analyze patients’ posture and functional movement mechanics, address the under and overcompensated muscles and structures to allow for proper range of motion and movement, and give patients the correct postural exercises to address the deep muscles that support the skeletal system.  

Ergonomics: 

Each new patient in our office will receive a comprehensive posture evaluation and 3-dimensional foot scan, revealing potential hidden problems that could go unnoticed. In addition, we offer virtual ergonomic assessments at a much lower cost than a traditional in-office ergonomic assessment with a full printout of findings and recommendations for you to keep.   

Equally important to diet and exercise, understanding how your body is commonly positioned against gravity can help doctors find the underlying issue with chronic pain.

Proper ergonomics allows for better productivity, promotes great posture, lessens fatigue, and decreases the pain that comes from repeated movements.  

Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): 

Research on Low-Level Laser Therapy reveals that it is a non-invasive and efficient method to reduce healing time after any sort of injury— with zero side effects.   

At ProActive Chiropractic, we offer laser therapy using devices from the world leader in Low-Level Laser Technology, Erchonia. Thousands of reliable studies have deemed these lasers to be safe and successful in pain management and recovery.   

Similarly to how plants use sunlight for energy to grow, the cells in our body convert the non-thermal photons of the laser into energy, which is then used to heal the damaged tissues faster. Read about the clinical research here.  

Imaging: 

Although we do not have an on-site imaging center, we are partnered with Radnet and SimonMed for all of your X-ray, MRI, CT Scan, and Ultrasound needs!  

The gold standard in diagnosing degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis is an MRI. This gives us a clear picture of classic radiographic hallmarks of osteoarthritis, which includes: nonuniform joint space narrowing, osteophyte formation, cyst formation, and subchondral sclerosis. X-rays also help us see bone damage. Imaging allows us to give you a confident diagnosis and comparison of your osteoarthritis.  

Our overall goal is to get you pain-free as soon as possible.  Get expert sports chiropractic treatment in the San Francisco Financial District area. Call 415-762-8141 or schedule an appointment online now.

 

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