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Joint adjustments recommended for osteoarthritis care

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Manual joint adjustments and stretching should be used as part of the care of osteoarthritis particularly of the hip, according to the latest gold standard recommendations published by the UK National Institute of Clinical Evidence (NICE).

The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association points out that manual care as practised by chiropractors is highlighted in the new recommendations citing strong evidence for the benefit of joint adjustments alone compared with exercise instead of early use of pharmaceuticals.

Dr Hayden Thomas, chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association explains: ‘This latest guidance has called for a sea change in the way we approach the problem, urging everyone to stop thinking of osteoarthritis as an aging or wear and tear condition and regard it instead as a natural repair process that, with help from the health care professional and patient, often leads to a better functioning, pain free joint.’

There are several myths about osteoarthritis. For a start it isn't wear and tear or old age - it is actually inflammation of a particular joint from injury or altered biomechanics and it's not bone on bone. It's a whole joint disorder - all involved in an inflammation repair process, which means your body is trying actively to make you better or stabilise an area under strain.

Overall NICE estimates that, with the right care and support including manual care, a third of people with arthritic knees get better and another third get no worse. But the prognosis is still seen as rather hopeless by many doctors.’

The latest recommendations are part of the increasing evidence supporting the use of chiropractic care as part of a preventative approach. This year’s theme for World Spine Day is "Straighten Up and Move," focusing on the importance of proper posture and movement in maintaining good joint and overall health.

Every year on October 16th people from around the world join together to raise awareness on World Spine Day as part of the Bone and Joint Decade’s Action Week.

Spinal disorders, such as back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and disc degeneration, to name a few are common, and they can have a profound effect on a person’s overall health, impacting a person's ability to work, to enjoy everyday activities and even disrupting healthy sleep patterns.

Research has demonstrated that poor postures and inactivity can contribute to the development of joint dysfunction, back pain, neck pain and other spinal disorders.

Some facts:

- Up to 80% of people will suffer from back or neck pain during their lives.

- A large number of people have signs of joint degeneration years before the onset of any symptoms at all.

- 50% of the working population will experience back or neck pain symptoms at least once per year.

- Activities such as sitting for long periods, repetitive lifting and farming can increase the risk of spinal pain. Stress is also a significant factor.

- Age is one of the most common risk factors for spinal pain, and the greatest effects of population ageing are predicted in low- and middle-income countries.

- Back and neck pain is one of the most common reasons for workplace sick leave.

- Back pain is the second most frequent reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by the common cold.

For more information on the Straighten Up New Zealand Campaign visit

For more information on the global initiative visit the World Spine Day website at

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