Arthritis in Willoughby OH

Arthritis comes in many different forms. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease that occurs from dysfunction or overuse of a joint. This type of arthritis is more common in people as they age but we are seeing it at alarming rates in patients even in their 30’s and 40’s particularly those who have suffered some past trauma to the joint whether it was through sports or a car accident or just a simple fall. Another common cause throughout the population is often just overuse of the joint. This is seen very often in the necks of our patients. You see, when joints lose their ability to move freely the body respond by laying down more bony material in an effort to stabilize the joint. Sounds good in theory but what happens through this process we begin to further lose function in these joints, which in turn lowers our quality of life in many respects. Whether it is in the form of chronic muscle tension, chronic pain or just the inability to do some of the things that make us happy in our day-to-day life.

There are several ways to help to limit the effect of arthritis on our spine. Some of these include focusing on proper head position and posture. For example, the majority of my patient that report to my office for neck pain have what is called anterior head carriage. This when your head begins to move in front of your body instead of sitting properly over your shoulders the way it was meant to. Almost always when their x-rays come back we see arthritis in the front part of the spine and discs that have degenerated at the same level. Because as part of the normal person’s day consists largely of looking down, whether it is at our laptop, our keyboard, our book, our tablet, or phone. This slowly compromises the position of our head in a way that defies the physics of how our body was designed. The response of our body is to add more bone in an effort to stabilize this joint as it feels it is in a dangerous state. If this process continues over years and into decades the body eventually will try to fuse this joint completely to eliminate the instability of the joint. This is not a good thing for a person, who enjoys pain free motion of their neck, which I assume is all of us!!

So what can you do? Well first of all get your head up!! Start focusing on looking up more when you are not working down in an effort to balance out the position of your head and to stretch muscles in the front of you neck that tend to be tight due to our constant poor head position. Another thing that can be helpful is to work at strengthening the muscles in the back of the neck in an effort to get the head into a good position as well. Seeing a doctor about your neck pain is key as well. They can study the movement of the individual joints and locate joints that are restricted in motion and help to get those joints moving again. In the end this is the key to limiting the formation of arthritis, to keep proper motion in joints. If something causes a joint to stop performing the way it is supposed to arthritis gravitates to these areas so assuring that your spine and other joints are moving with proper function is the job of your physician in an effort to reduce the effects of arthritis on your frame. If you notice signs like pain or stiffness in certain joints that is a signal to have them evaluated by a physician, this is particularly important in the spine because it is so close to your spinal cord and nerves that dysfunction in this part of your frame can lead to a wide array of nerve pain syndromes. This example I used in the neck is just one example, this process goes on potentially in all of our joints in a similar manner. Whether it is your knees, your feet, your spine, take care of your joints they are what allow you to combat so many diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, by keeping you mobile and in turn more healthy.

Monday 8am - 7pm
Tuesday 9am - 6:30pm
Wednesday 8am - 7pm
Thursday 9am - 6:30pm
Friday 8am - 7pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

37131 Euclid Avenue #3
Willoughby, OH 44094

highly recommended