Good morning, everyone! Dr. Glenn Reed here again with your Monday morning motivation. As I was flipping through the last few months’ worth of topics for these motivational videos, I realized we’ve missed discussing osteoarthritis.

It’s a shame, as osteoarthritis affects a significant number of Canadians. It’s the top leading cause of disability in females in Canada, and the third leading cause of disability in males. If you’re not dealing with it yourself, you likely know someone who is.

Understanding Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis falls under the big umbrella term “arthritis,” which encompasses many different types. The most common type, by far, is osteoarthritis. When people say they have arthritis without specifying the type, they’re usually referring to osteoarthritis.

Chiropractors often use the term “degeneration” to describe osteoarthritis occurring in the spinal segment. That’s because it’s mainly linked to the natural wear and tear of joint cartilage over time. It usually happens as we get older and can impact different joints, like the knees, hips, hands, and spine. In osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of our bones in a joint gradually breaks down, resulting in pain, swelling, and decreased joint function.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

At its simplest, osteoarthritis is caused by poor motion over time. Disc joints don’t have a vascular (blood) supply, so they need motion to keep nutrients coming in and waste going out.

Problems arise when we have an injury that causes us to move less, or when we sit for too long at work. Fewer nutrients come into the joint, causing some cells to die off. This leads to less motion, fewer nutrients, more cell death, and so on – a vicious cycle that gradually worsens the condition.

How Can We Treat Osteoarthritis?

The key to slowing the progression of osteoarthritis is to restore healthy motion to the affected joint.

As a chiropractor, I might be a bit biased, but chiropractic care is one of the best ways to achieve this. However, it’s not enough to get a chiropractic adjustment and then go about your day as usual. You need to follow up with spinal hygiene stretches, exercises, and movements throughout the day to keep the joint moving.

In conclusion, osteoarthritis is a common condition that many of us will face at some point. But by understanding what causes it and how to manage it, we can slow its progression and maintain our mobility and quality of life.

As always, I’m here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. Stay safe, stay healthy, and see you next Monday morning!