At the ends of your bones is cartilage that provides a cushion between the bone and the joint. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of this cartilage. Without the cushion the cartilage provides, pain results from the friction between the joint and bone.
Facet joints connect the vertebrae in the spine and permit your spine to bend. Osteoarthritis of the spine results in the degeneration and loss of the cartilage in the facet joints. Where the cartilage is degenerated, inflammation can occur.
Most pain that results from Osteoarthritis occurs in the lower back or neck (the hips, knees and hands are also common locations). In spinal osteoarthritis as the smooth cartilage deteriorates, the bones of the spine can't move smoothly over the roughened cartilage. This causes irritation and damage to the bone, and often results in the formation of bone spurs. These spurs can irritate the surrounding soft tissue, causing additional pain and inflammation.
The Role of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic can't stop the process of Osteoarthritis, but it can reduce the pain associated with Osteoarthritis and increase mobility.
Chiropractic offers drug-free treatments that include spinal adjustments to optimize spinal alignment; muscle strengthening exercises to provide the spine with additional support; physical therapy to increase flexibility; rehabilitative exercise and therapeutic massage to increase circulation. Nutritional supplements and Thermal Therapy are also beneficial in relieving the pain of Osteoarthritis.