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wrist painAffecting over 20 million Americans, arthritis can lead to significant disability. It’s an epidemic – even a pandemic.

By 2040, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that 78 million US adults aged 18 years or older will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. That’s 26% of ALL Americans over age 18.

Arthritis is a term used to describe inflammation in the joints. “Arth” refers to joints, and “itis” refers to inflammation. There are two main types of arthritis: systemic arthritis, which includes rheumatoid arthritis; and osteoarthritis, also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis. Systemic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the tissues surrounding the joints. Osteoarthritis is caused by microtrauma (gravity, excessive use/overuse) and macrotrauma (slips, falls, whiplash, etc.).

Natural Management Approaches

Since inflammation is a factor in both major types of arthritis, many Americans rely on anti-inflammatory medications. However, long-term use of these medications can have serious adverse effects on the liver, kidneys, and stomach.

That’s why it’s always advisable to seek drug-free approaches first. These include the following:

Chiropractic Care

Doctors of Chiropractic like Dr. Shaye are trained in non-drug, non-surgical methods to assist the body’s innate healing potential. Spinal manipulation and joint mobilization are primary tools for reducing symptoms from arthritic changes, as well as reducing the progression of the disease.

Furthermore, joint motion can treat or even prevent arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The chiropractic adjustment helps stuck or fixated joints move more freely, literally oiling up your body’s joints.


An ancient form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is believed to help relieve arthritis symptoms by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms and repatterning the central nervous system’s response to and interpretation of pain signals. The insertion of fine needles at specific points on the body stimulate the flow of Qi (vital energy) and blood, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. From a more Western perspective, acupuncture stimulates calming nerves when indicated, releases anti-pain and anti-stress substances in the blood, and closes the “gate” to pain signals (Gate Theory of pain) by stimulating nerve pathways that drown out the “noise” of pain.

Dry Needling

This technique involves inserting a thin needle into trigger points in muscles to relieve pain and tension. While dry needling is not a cure for arthritis, it can be an effective treatment option for managing symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and inflammation. By targeting specific trigger points, dry needling can help release tension in the affected muscles and increase blood flow to the area, which can help reduce pain and improve range of motion.

Dietary modifications

Westerners tend to eat diets that increase inflammation; then, we attempt to medicate ourselves out of our own folly. Anti-inflammatory diets rich in Omega3 fatty acids, and light on Omega6 fatty acids, plus other natural anti-inflammatory foods and herbs, can help decrease excessive inflammation that is associated with pain.


This modality can be a safe and effective alternative for most people. Cryotherapy involves using ice or cold water to cool the inflamed area and decrease pain without negative side effects, when used correctly.

Contrast Therapy

Contrast therapy is another safe and effective means of self-care for arthritis. This method involves alternating ice and heat on the affected joint. It acts like a pump, pumping nutrition to stiff joints and reducing local fluid while retaining the anti-inflammatory effects of cryotherapy.

Book an Appointment

If you’ve been suffering with arthritis, we want to help. Contact Performance Chiropractic today to book an appointment with Dr.Shaye!


Arthritis Williamsburg, James City County VA | (757) 229-4161