One fifth of Americans have arthritis, survey shows

A report just released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more than one fifth of all Americans have arthritis, and a million new cases are being diagnosed every year.

Chances are good that many of your patients come to you for the symptoms of arthritis, often after failing to get relief from medical treatment such as pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or even surgery. They’re turning to you for something different … a drug-free way and non-invasive solution.

The way to help these people is to give them SOMETHING DIFFERENT — not just another medical treatment that provides temporary symptom relief, but a way they can help their bodies restore the proper condition of their bones and joints. By correcting subluxations, you can put them on the road to mending.

But you might also consider helping patients address some of the major factors contributing or causing their condition, which will allow them to maintain their adjustments longer as well.

According to most experts, obesity, smoking, and stress are three of the top contributors, as is advancing age. Nearly 30% of obese patients studied for the report had arthritis, and those who exercised less or smoked more were also more likely to have it. “Arthritis is a large and growing public health problem in the United States, resulting in costs of $128 billion annually, and continues to be the most common cause of disability,” the report noted. “With the aging population and continued high prevalence of obesity in the United States, the prevalence of arthritis is expected to increase significantly over the next 2 decades.”

Since the major contributory factors are all wellness and lifestyle issues, many chiropractors are taking a leading role in addressing them, through education and in-office services such as exercise training, weight and nutrition counseling, stress management and biofeedback, and smoking cessation programs. While these are not chiropractic itself, all can contribute to the wellness level of your patients and be valuable services to offer.

It’s also important to have in place a comprehensive wellness outcome measurement tool that can monitor the improvements resulting from your care.

While it’s important to educate patients that chiropractic is not a treatment or cure for arthritis or any other disease or condition, it’s equally vital to raise awareness that chiropractic is an holistic approach that can help all people increase their overall level of health and wellness. By putting into place specific educational programs for patients with arthritis, you can provide important services to them, and help your practice grow as it reaches out to the large portion of the population suffering from it.

SOURCE: “Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation — United States, 2007–2009,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 8, 2010.

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