Joint Pain, Osteoarthritis, and Treatment Options

Chiropractic joint pain treatments can relieve your pain naturally.

Chiropractic joint pain treatments can relieve your pain naturally before it gets worse.

Joint pain due to Osteoarthritis – What possible options do you have?

Physiological aging is a natural process that is best managed by maintaining optimal health. It is imperative to understand that the quality of bone and joint functioning suffers a great deal as you age and often times require more vigorous care to maintain the pain-free mobility. For example, recall how easy it was to hold your 2 year old son at the age of 30 but now it definitely requires a greater deal of effort to hold the 2 year old grandson at the age of 60.

This is mainly because of age related degenerative or wear and tear changes that destroy the elasticity and strength of joint cartilage. The joint connective tissue mainly acts as a cushioning agent to prevent bones from coming in direct contact with each other during joint motion).

When cartilage is worn out (due to occupational, nutritional, environmental and age related factors) the adjacent bone directly glides with each other to cause:

  • Joint Pain
  • Inflammation due to constant irritation
  • Swelling and redness
  • Formation of new bony outgrowths as a result of inflammation
  • Limited range of motion due to swelling, pain and stiffness

What should you know about joint pain due to osteoarthritis?

Although the patency and stability of all joint structures decrease with age, the involvement of osteoarthritis is dependent on several factors; like:

  • Weight bearing joints are usually affected the most (with knee, hip and vertebral column as a frequent site of osteoarthritic changes)
  • Genetical factors play a very significant role in determining the age of onset of osteoarthritis (if your parents had osteoarthritis in their 50s, you should start worrying after your 45th birthday)
  • Certain occupations that involve vigorous physical labor increases the pace of cartilage degeneration (like mechanics, porters, construction and cleaning industry workers develop more aggressive forms of osteoarthritis)
  • Women are at much higher risk especially after menopause due to loss of protective influence of estrogen on bones

How can you manage osteoarthritis joint pain?

Research data published in American Journal of Public Health (1) suggested that osteoarthritis of knee joint is responsible for 20% of all reported causes of physical disability in individuals.

In order to restore the mobility and reduce the physical suffering caused by joint inflammation (like pain, swelling and stiffness), healthcare providers utilize several pharmacological and surgical interventions. But what limits the efficacy of results?

  • Results are temporary:

Most pharmacological formulations (like oral drugs, local application ointments, balms and sprays) only mask or suppress the perception of pain symptoms but are less effective at improving the joint health or controlling the source of inflammation. Resultant effect is progressive deterioration of joint function.

  • Cost of therapy:

Since medical or surgical interventions only manage the symptoms and not the cause of joint pain, the treatments are usually ongoing that is a huge economic burden on the families of suffering individuals. According to a report published in Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research journal (3), the cost of joint pain management due to OA alone is more than $13.2 billion per year. It is imperative to mention that this value reflects only the cost spend on knee and hip replacement surgeries

  • High rate of complications:

One of the biggest limitations of medical and surgical management options is the remarkably high rate of complications. Most people who develop osteoarthritis eventually become a patient of dyspepsia, burning chest pain, gastric bleeding and stomach ulceration.

Is there a medical or pathological link between joint pain due to osteoarthritis and stomach/ chest issues due to peptic ulceration.

The answer to this question is a big NO!

The treatment modalities that are directed at improving the disability and masking the symptoms can directly affect the functioning of different systems and organs. For example, chronic NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) intake is associated with bleeding tendency, permanent liver damage, renal impairment and other health issues.

The rate of complications is even higher with surgical procedures. The cost of surgery is a huge limiting factor but more interestingly, the mobility is never restored to normal after hip/ knee replacement procedures. Besides acute complications (like bleeding, anesthesia relayed complications and infection), some patients also develop long term and permanent complications like:

  • Clunk problem (a condition marked by popping sound produced from prosthetic joint)
  • Loss of control over joint motion
  • A need to revise the surgery (as the prosthesis generally last for 10 -12 years)

How chiropractic therapy can help?

  • Are you aware that currently over 13.9% of US population over 25 years is suffering from symptomatic osteoarthritis?
  • Did you know that 12.4 million (or 33.6%) of the elderly population over 65 years develop varying degree of disability due to aggressive osteoarthritis.

These are considered safe assumptions since advancements in science and healthcare is expected to further increase the average life expectancy in coming years that will lead to a higher prevalence of osteoarthritis. This assumption demands that an effective solution for joint pain due to arthritis should be devised.

Chiropractic therapy is indeed one of the safest management options for chronic osteoarthritis. But why choose Chiropractic care?

  • Most treatment modalities utilized by chiropractors are customized to suit the individual needs and requirements of patients (as opposed to pharmacological and surgical options that are mainly generic for all patients)
  • Chiropractic medicine aims at restoring the health, continuity and connectivity of your musculoskeletal system by employing holistic methods.
  • Unlike most medical and surgical modalities, the short term or long term risk/ complications are negligible with chiropractic therapies.
  • Exercises, manipulations and chiropractic stretches help in restoring range of motion by reducing stiffness and inflammation.

H.P. French (4) conducted a detailed study to explore the evidence of chiropractic therapy benefits in the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. He conducted in depth study of 8 previous trials to identify manipulative chiropractic procedures are significantly helpful in restoring normal joint motion in most individuals.

According to research report published in peer reviewed journal Arthritis Care & Research (5), the average cost of chiropractic therapies per year is $1,127. This amount is much more affordable than $2,600/ year (the average cost of traditional therapies) as reported by Gabriel (6) in Journal of Rheumatology.

In short, employing chiropractic therapy for long term management of your joint pain is not only safe but also more cost effective. If it is becoming hard for you to enjoy your life or perform simple daily activities like you used to, feel free to book an appointment with an experienced chiropractor to regain your strength and joint stability.


  1. Guccione AA, Felson DT, Anderson JJ, et al. The effects of specific medical conditions on the functional limitations of elders in the Framingham Study. Am J Pub Health 1994;84(3):351–358.
  2. Lawrence RC, Felson DT, Helmick CG, et al. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States. Part II. Arthritis Rheum 2008;58(1):26–35.
  3. Buckwalter JA, Saltzman C, Brown T. The impact of osteoarthritis. Clin Orthoped Rel Res2004:427S: S6–S15.
  4. French, H. P., Brennan, A., White, B., & Cusack, T. (2011). Manual therapy for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee–a systematic review. Manual Therapy, 16(2), 109-117.
  5. Ramsey, S. D., Spencer, A. C., Topolski, T. D., Belza, B., & Patrick, D. L. (2001). Use of alternative therapies by older adults with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Care & Research, 45(3), 222-227.
  6. Gabriel SE, Crowson CS, Campion ME et al. Direct medical costs unique to people with arthritis. J Rheumatol 1997;24(4):719–725.
Joint Pain, Osteoarthritis, and Treatment Options was last modified: February 28th, 2014 by Dr. Patrick McCluskey