Arthritis can affect many joints. Different joints exist in the body with varying degrees of movement. For instance, a knee joint moves less freely than spinal joints.
Life comes with bumps and bruises or long days at work. These daily challenges cause all joints not just those in the shoulder, neck, knees, and back to potentially function abnormally.
Dysfunction may not be apparent at first, but symptoms are a poor indicator of health. It’s similar to not knowing you have a cavity until a dental examination. So what are the best ways to keep joints healthy?
Joint Health And Movement Assessment
Early abnormal joint detection is key. Normal movement while lifting an object or simply sitting to standing can be assessed. Abnormal mechanics or positioning of bones and spinal segments will cause abnormal amounts of pressure on joints. This is not ideal because joints have discs or cushioning between bones.
Unfortunately, discs can degenerate or thin due to abnormal structure and movement. Disc thinning, if left untreated, leads to dysfunction and pain. A quick assessment can be done at home to see if your neck has normal ranges of motion.
For example, more head rotation to the left verses the right is an indicator of joint dysfunction. This abnormal motion could lead to disc thinning between spinal segments. Additionally, doctors have the ability to spot abnormalities during certain functional movements.
Many people take a supplement or an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to help with joint health or pain. The most common supplement is chondroitin glucosamine with MSM. Chondroitin glucosamine helps with normal joint lubrication, and MSM provides nutritional support for the production of joint structures like discs.
Omega-3 is a great supplement for joints too.
A popular anti-inflammatory is a curcumin supplement. Curcumin is the active component of the turmeric plant. Joint and anti-inflammatory supplementation should be used in conjunction with a proper structural examination to determine possible treatment.
Lastly, a structural examination involves imaging, digital analysis, and motion assessment. Without a structural examination, joints may be in a degenerative process which will get worse without proper medical attention.
Dr. Garrett is the founder of Core Chiropractic in Birmingham, AL. While most health care is focused on temporary relief, the staff at Core Chiropractic focus on creating solutions to a wide spectrum of health conditions. Connect with Dr. Garrett at (205) 206-9341 or via online form.