Osteoarthritis, also known as arthrosis, is the most common of the articular disorders which often affect the vertebras, hip, knee, wrist/hand, ankle/feet and shoulder. In many cases, patients with osteoarthritis do not experience pain until the condition progresses to advanced stages. It is often the case that symptoms are worse in the morning and there is increased sensitivity to weather changes especially increased humidity/precipitation.
Spondylosis is a term used to describe osteoarthritis specifically in the vertebral column. The surfaces of the bones in joints are lined by articular cartilage that reduce friction and function as shock absorbers. Through a series of factors that happen throughout the process of living day to day (certain types of trauma, prolonged repetitive movements, poor postures, etc. ) these articulations of the vertebral column may loose their mobility. When a vertebra looses its normal alignment, and consequently its normal movement, this process is called the vertebral subluxation. The degenerative process of spondylosis begins starting from when there is a loss of movement in the articulation. It is a slow process that takes at least 10 or 15 years from its onset before its physical manifestations can be detected on an x-ray. If the subluxation is not corrected in time, the vertebral articulation slowly solidifies and in time form structures called osteophytes (also known as bone spurs) and the complete degradation of the intervertebral disc. If this happens, the vertebrae fuse together and there will be a permanent loss of mobility and almost certainly a pronounced irritation of the adjacent spinal nerve.
The chiropractic adjustment can help prevent the development of arthrosis by realigning the vertebrae and thus restoring mobility to the joint. In the case that arthrosis is already present, through chiropractic one can help to ensure that the degenerative process does not worsen.