Arthritis takes several forms. This article will discuss a general principle for all forms, but will primarily consider osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—the most common forms.
Osteo-arthritis is now more commonly called degenerative joint disease. It rarely begins before 45 and is hardly ever painful or crippling. Most people are not even aware of its presence until some routine x-rays discover it.
Our major concern is with rheumatoid arthritis which can be very painful, affect all ages and does cripple. The process begins as an inflammation of the inside lining of the tough capsule enclosing a joint. In this early stage it merely produces pain, swelling and stiffness. This state in a joint can come and go for years and not cause much damage—only pain. Sometimes the inflamed tissue extends out over the sliding joint surface and eats away the cartilage. Scar tissue then forms, and later bone, which can make a joint useless.
Man has sought answers for years regarding this inflammation. Aspirin eases pain and cortisone can help a lot with the inflammatory process, but the side effects are often so dangerous that extreme caution must be used. Certain corrective exercises are helpful, and many people use numerous health food remedies with varying degrees of success.
Chiropractors have generally been thought of as spine doctors, and one could wonder how this could relate to arthritis. Yet for many years, patients with back problems have often marveled at how the rheumatoid arthritis pains disappear from their hands and knees, as well as their backs.
The purpose of this article is to explore an overall way the body heals itself. In general, every cell has built into it a will to live and stay intact. Each individual cell has enough intelligence to organize itself, heal itself when the environment is right, and do certain work.
Groups of cells together form tissues, such as the slippery synovial tissue inside the joints. Cells, as well as groups of cells, can only heal and stay strong when they are supplied with oxygen and food from the blood, and when the blood carries away their poisons.
A large overall “central” intelligence from the brain is required to see that the right environment is provided. This is an automatic built-in intelligence for the body as a whole. This intelligence provides more blood flow to a part when the part needs more blood. It also oversees the quality of the blood; it makes sure the intestines and liver are putting the right nutriments into the blood.
This intelligence is so far-reaching that it even gives the person a craving in his appetite, so he will eat the foods containing what the tissues need at a given time. It makes sure the person drinks enough fluid and that his kidneys discharge enough waste.
The built-in wisdom of the body is so magnificent that we wonder why it fails in the arthritis victim. One possible cause of the inflammation could be a slight deficiency of some cortisone-like hormones at the joint tissues. But then we might ask, “Doesn’t this inborn overall intelligence coordinate the production and distribution of just the right amount and kind of hormones?” And then, “What if it was some mineral from the blood that the inflamed joint membranes were lacking to stay healthy? Doesn’t the inner wisdom order the intestines to pluck it out of the right food? Doesn’t the liver work on it? Why doesn’t this innate director make it happen?”
Chiropractors believe that when their arthritic patients get better, it is because the nerves are released. The nerves happen to be the main pathways or the “telephone wires” the central intelligence uses to tell the liver and the intestines what to do.
Hormones are produced in the same way. The intelligence sends its orders from the brain down the spinal cord and out over the nerves to the glands that make hormones. These orders control the circulation and keep the glands strong.
If one of the vertebrae in the spine is knocked out of place, it can block a nerve and short-circuit the message system. No one knows yet, but perhaps because just the right nerve is blocked, some function of the liver then quits for a few years, and it fails to put a necessary substance into the blood supply. The joints are gradually starved of that substance and eventually give out. Or perhaps the nerve short-circuit is to a gland making hormones, so it partially fails. Again, the joints suffer.
If we eventually know the substance to substitute for what the body is failing to produce, this nerve blockage should obviously still be corrected, so the ailing gland or organ can still repair itself. Then hopefully the substance they discover will no longer be needed. In the meantime while they look for something, we at least can be getting the patient's nervous system back in charge. Very often, joint pain eases off, sometimes fifty percent or more in the first couple of months. There may never be a need to substitute from the outside if we can get production going again on the inside!
There has been a very human problem, however, relating the crooked place at the spine to problems in the liver or glands. There is usually NO PAIN at the point of spinal blockage, and certainly NO PATHWAY OF PAIN to trace from that spot over to the sluggish organ! So there is no obvious sign that your doctor should refer you out to a chiropractor to have a check for nervous system integrity. You’re basically stuck—unintentionally relegated to life with pain pills and further deterioration.
Modern chiropractic releases these blockages with gentle spinal adjustments. The wisdom of the body goes to work and often the pain and inflammation quickly ease in even the worst joints! Millions of people now use natural chiropractic as the main under-girding of their maintenance.
© J.W. Kribs, D.C.
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