The September 21, 1999 issue of The Annals of Internal
Medicine reports that
chiropractic is the most popular and by far the most
effective of the wellness
disciplines for patients suffering from rheumatologic
diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Arthritis is the name given to more than 100 different
diseases that cause pain,
swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective
tissue. One out of every six Americans suffers from
some form of arthritis, and unfortunately, the condition
last a lifetime.
In 1997, Americans made an estimated 629 million visits
to practitioners of
"complementary and alternative medicine"
(CAM), compared with just 388
million visits to primary care physicians that same
year. A study published in the
Annals of Internal Medicine found that many arthritis
patients used CAM, and that chiropractic was the most
frequently used type of care.
Even more significantly, chiropractic was also near
the top of the list in terms of the
number of patients who regularly used CAM, and the
number of patients who found
CAM helpful for their condition.
Source: Rao JK, Mihaliak K, Kroenke K, et al. Use
of complementary therapies
for arthritis among patients of rheumatologists. Annals
of Internal Medicine,
Sept. 1999: Vol. 131, No. 6, pp409-16.
The Annals of Internal Medicine (of all places) published
the results of a survey of
232 people who had arthritis and were under a rheumatologists
care. Of those 63% responded to the survey by saying
they were using some form of "complementary
care" as named by the study. Of those people
31% were using chiropractic. These
number may themselves be grossly under reported as
only 45% of the patients told
their doctor about using the other forms of care.
These reported numbers translate to over 19% of the
public who is seeing a
rheumatologists is also seeing a chiropractor. And
if less that half of the patients
are telling their doctor about it the actual number
may be twice as high.
Possibly the most impressive statistic was that 73%
of those trying chiropractic
found it helpful. The reasons given why people said
they tried the non-medical care
was to control pain, because they heard it helps,
because it is safe, because it helped someone they
know, and because their prescription medication wasn't
In a study of geriatrics by the Rand Corporation
it was found that 96% of the
population studied who use chiropractic had not used
nursing home services in the
three years before the study.
81% of those who had received chiropractic care didn't
need the use of a nursing
home, a 15% less nursing home usage by the chiropractic
74% of the people under chiropractic care did not
need the use of a hospital in the
three years prior to the study versus 53% of the study
group not under chiropractic
care; a 21% difference.
Source: RAND, 1991
Should Arthritis Patients Exercise?
Exercise is critical in successful arthritis management.
It helps maintain healthy and
strong muscles, joint mobility, flexibility, endurance,
and helps control weight. Rest,
on the other hand, helps to decrease active joint
inflammation, pain, and fatigue. For
best results, arthritis patients need a good balance
between the two: more rest during
the active phase of arthritis, and more exercise during
remission. During acute
ystematic flares or local joint flares, patients should
put joints gently through their
full range of motion once a day, with periods of rest.
To see how much rest is best
during flares, patients should talk to their health
Source: Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
and Skin Diseases. Jan. 1998, revised Nov. 1999. Available
Questions and Answers
about Arthritis and Exercise. National Institute of
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases. May 2001.
Available from http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/arthritis/arthexfs.htm.
Take some positive steps toward a having a pain-free
life. Call today for an appointment.