Rheumatoid Arthritis In Colorado Springs
Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most common diagnoses given for patients presenting with musculoskeletal pain. There are several different types of arthritis.
What does Arthritis mean? When we look at the word arthritis, we have the base words “arthro” – meaning joint and “-itis” – meaning inflammation.
Knowing that Arthritis translates to joint inflammation, the next logical question is “What’s the CAUSE of the joint inflammation?” Although there is no cookie-cutter cause for joint
inflammation, in the following paragraphs we will examine several possible causes, associated symptoms, populations at risk, along with common solutions specifically associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Colorado Springs.
Now that we know what Arthritis actually means, what exactly is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Rheumatism is essentially pain in musculoskeletal tissue due to a spectrum of causes. Rheumatoid arthritis has been classified as joint inflammation due to the body attacking itself. It is known as an autoimmune disease.
Early onset RA usually presents with joint pain, stiffness, and possible swelling. As RA moves into Stage 2, patients will generally feel more constant pain and swelling. In addition, notable joint mobility loss may also be present. Stage 3 is considered severe – at this stage, the inflammation has worn away the joint tissue and is now beginning to destroy the nearby bone. In stage 4, there is no longer joint inflammation – the joint has been so worn away that the bones have fused themselves together no longer allowing for motion; this patient will generally experience severe pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis tends to only affect certain joints, including the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees, elbows, hips, and shoulders. RA is more commonly seen in Caucasian females. The average age of onset is common between the ages of 19-40, and very common between the ages of 41-60.
What makes Rheumatoid Arthritis different from other joint inflammation? RA is an autoimmune disease which essentially means the body believes there is reason to attack itself. When looking up the cause of autoimmune diseases, the answer is IDIOPATHIC meaning that “no one knows.” The best hypothesis that scientists have for the cause of autoimmune diseases is that there is a dramatic change in the brain. This change in the brain creates signals that identify certain body parts as foreign invaders. By doing so, the body usually attacks this area of the body in an unwarranted effort to protect itself. Scientists hypothesize that certain medications, alcohol, and TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES can cause brain changes big enough to cause autoimmune issues.
If there is an abuse of drugs or alcohol causing Rheumatoid Arthritis or any autoimmune disease, obviously those things should be stopped immediately. But what about a traumatic brain injury? How can this cause an autoimmune issue, and what can be done to correct this cause?
Research shows that whenever there is a brain injury there is a neck injury. In fact, it takes about 10x more force to cause a brain injury than it does for a neck injury. The problem with this is that many people experience brain injuries that never heal completely because the brain’s lifeline for blood, waste exchange and electrical connection to the rest of the body (THE NECK) has been damaged. If the brain does not receive nutrients and is unable to manage waste, how well do you think the brain will work? There is a specific part of the brain called the Hypothalamus – this area controls hormones and general regulation of bodily actions (homeostasis). This area is also shown to be attacked and slower functioning in correlation with brain injuries. If this part of the brain stops working properly, do you think it’s possible that it could send the wrong signals to the body that it otherwise wouldn’t? Could these signals be autoimmune in nature?
As it currently stands, the common treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis include medication, paraffin wax baths, and even surgical procedures. Some people have found benefits with acupuncture and other natural modalities.
Unlike most traditional healthcare practitioners that focus their attention on the joints or body parts that hurt, Balance Chiropractic focuses on a unique approach called Foundational Correction. With Foundational Correction, our goal is to reconnect the brain and body to work as one. We never pop, twist, or crack the spine and focus all of our attention on the upper neck because of its proximity to your brain… and POP QUIZ! What does your brain control? That is right, EVERYTHING! If your brain is not able to properly connect with the body, many secondary conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis in Colorado Springs may happen. Although we do not specifically treat RA at Balance Chiropractic, we have been fortunate enough to see several patients who are able to reduce or eliminate medications (with the help of their prescribing doctor) and live a life with more manageable pain and discomfort under our care.
You may call to set up your complimentary consultation at (719) 265-0115.