A joint in the body is the point where two or more bones connect to allow movement and support, the precise type and shape of the joint varies based on its function. Joint pain is common; usually experienced in the hands, shoulders, feet, knees, hips, neck or spine; may occur when at rest or while moving; and can be constant or intermittent. At times joint pain can feel achy, stiff, or sore while some people describe a throbbing, burning, or grating sensation. Additionally, a joint may feel fairly stiff in the morning but soon loosen up and with movement and activity by the afternoon feel better. However, having said that, too much activity on a vulnerable joint could make the pain worse. Joint pain can affect joint function limiting a person’s range of motion and ability to do basic daily tasks.
Experiencing joint pain often prompts the immediate thought of arthritis, but there are numerous reasons why you may feel joint pain or achiness throughout your body. We rarely think of our joints when they’re working well, but just about every activity we engage in can grab our attention when accompanied with joint pain. Since joints are those junctions of our body where two bones meet, wrapped with fibrous lining, and conjoined with ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and muscle, all lubricated with a special fluid (synovial fluid) – lots can go wrong. Injury or trauma to any one of these parts can disrupt the smooth and proper functioning of the entire joint. But more often than not the underlying cause of joint pain stems from a malfunctioning and usually overactive immune system, unleashing an attack on the joints.
Joint Pain Symptoms
Joint pain symptoms range from mild to disabling. Without sufficient cartilage providing a smooth and lubricated surface for articulation and to help the transmission of load bearing functions, bones can directly rub against each other when you move your joint. Symptoms can include:
Stiff or enlarged joint
Noisy joints, grinding or clicking sounds with joint movement
Difficulty straightening or bending the joint
Loss of range of motion
A discolored and swollen joint
Who can experience joint pain?
Joint pain disproportionately affects those who:
Have had a prior injury to a joint
Repeated use or overuse of a muscle
Have a chronic medical condition such as arthritis
Cope with anxiety, depression, and/or stress
Are coping with contributing health issues
Age can be a factor in stiff, swollen and painful joints. Those 50 years of age or older could have osteoarthritis, a “wear-and-tear” common disease that happens when a joint’s cartilage and other tissues break down or undergo structural change, leading to pain.
What’s causing joint pain?
Numerous factors could be causing your joint pain including:
Arthritis. Arthritis comes in different types of which any one can produce pain in various joints, including; inflammatory arthritis like gout or rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis (psoriatic arthritis), septic arthritis and more.
Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is frequently confused with arthritis however it’s a different disorder typically causing fatigue with joint pain.
Thyroid problems. Uncontrolled thyroid conditions can produce muscle weakness and joint pain.
Meniscus tears. Long-term wear and tear on the knees can produce meniscus injuries causing pain.
Dislocations & fractures. Usually stemming from an injury and also producing swelling.
Strains & sprains. Stressed but shy of torn ligaments or tendons.
Ligament tears. Ligament tears lead to instability and pain in the joint.
Tendon tears. Tendon tears typically happen over time.
Soft-tissue tears. Common injuries affecting the shoulder and hip.
Tendinitis. Inflammation of a tendon, typically stemming from overuse.
Bursitis. Inflammation of the bursa, buffering surfaces of a bone and soft tissue in joints.
Bone contusions. Swelling and bruising from impact trauma.
Lyme disease. Spread by ticks and often confused for fibromyalgia.
Bone tumors. Benign or cancerous but a very rare cause of joint pain.
But as previously stated, more often than not the underlying cause of joint pain stems from a malfunctioning and usually overactive immune system launching chronic inflammation in the joints, for seemingly no apparent reason. This produces stiffness, joint pain and damage known as inflammatory arthritis.
Joint Pain & Your Immune System
Generally accompanying a joint injury is a small amount of inflammation as part of the healing process. Tender, puffy, red, joints can be healthy inflammation and an indicator that your immune system is working properly removing damage and promoting new tissue growth. However sometimes the immune system produces unhealthy, chronic inflammation in the joints leading to stiffness, pain, and joint damage known as inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of an inflammatory arthritis where your immune system mistakenly sends antibodies to the lining of your joints, where they attack the tissue surrounding the joint. This causes the thin layer of cells covering your joints to become sore and inflamed, creating new blood vessel formation, a thickening of the joint lining and — ultimately — joint damage .
Inflammatory arthritis is in fact joint inflammation due to an overactive immune system, affecting numerous joints throughout the body simultaneously, but also could be affecting a singular joint. When a joint undergoes chronic inflammation it can damage:
articular cartilage (the stretchy connective tissue between bones)
tendons (the tissue connecting muscle to bone)
ligaments (holding joints together connecting bone to cartilage)
nerves resulting in irritation
and produce symptoms, including swelling, stiffness & pain that may be progressive and irreversible (such as bone erosion).
As an autoimmune disease, inflammatory arthritis disrupts your immune system’s ability to distinguish between your own healthy cells and foreign cells and thus attacks healthy tissue in your joints. Arthritis, Lupus, and Diabetes are a few of the more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases affecting a range of body parts. It’s believed that genetics may make us more vulnerable to react to environmental factors — such as infection with certain viruses, toxins and bacteria — that may trigger inflammatory arthritis and consequently joint inflammation. Despite there being over 80 different autoimmune diseases, most of them have the following symptoms in common:
Joint pain and swelling
Abdominal pain or digestive issues
Chiropractic & Craniosacral Joint Pain Treatment in New York City
If you’re coping with joint pain and or inflammatory arthritis, chiropractic care coupled with craniosacral therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment to reduce your pain, retool and revitalize 3 body systems, essential to healing and eliminating the underlying causes of joint pain. My chiropractic / craniosacral treatment to resolve your joint pain focuses on improving the functioning of your:
Joint Pain & the Circulatory System:
Poor circulation is often the result of narrowed blood vessels slowing down blood flow and interfering with the healthy functioning of your circulatory system. A healthy circulatory system is critical to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout your body including to your joints. When your arteries, veins, capillaries and all blood vessels are healthy, they fortify your cells in a continuous cycle of delivering necessities and removing waste from your cells, including those within your joints.
Symptoms that indicate you may have inadequate blood flow circulation are numbness, tingling, or cold hands or feet; pain in the elbows, arms, legs; muscle cramping and blood clots to varicose veins, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and several other diseases.
Poor circulation can also produce swelling in various parts of your body. This swelling, also called edema, occurs when blood pools to a certain section of your body and then creates stiffness in the surrounding joints followed by joint pain. Chiropractic care (soft tissue massage, chiropractic adjustment, myofascial trigger point therapy, and other therapies) can improve circulation enabling blood vessels to relax, thereby increasing blood flow to the affected region. Healthy blood flow brings all the vital nourishment elements of the immune system to the injured tissues of the body, including to your joints. Damaged joint related tissues are cleared, which makes way for new growth tissues and structures and the healing of your joints.
If you’re an adult woman, 55% of your body is composed of fluid, in men that figure is 60% – and it’s the circulation of fluids that keeps you healthy. A constantly hard, rigid, and tense body with overly shortened muscle and fascial restrictions undergoes a slowing down in the flow and thus circulation of these essential fluids – contributing to your joint pain.
If you’re not familiar with ‘fascial restrictions’, know that fascia is a thin sheath of connective tissue encasing every part of your body and providing support to your organs, tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, nerves and bones. Healthy fascia stretches and is flexible whereas rigid fascia restricts movement and creates painful health conditions including joint pain.
Craniosacral therapy coupled with aspects of myofascial release andtrigger point therapy allow the soft tissues of your body (including your fascia) transform from a sticky rigid state of prominent restrictions, to a more viscous fluid like state of health. When this occurs, the circulation of your body’s fluids can perform for you in numerous meaningful ways improving your well being and reducing your joint pain. Revitalizing your body’s circulation can also includeLymphatic drainage therapy, an essential part of a healthy functioning immune system in filtering out joint pain producing substances from the body. Healthy flow of vital fluids means that communication lines within your body are wide open, active and the better your circulation, the quicker your immune system can go to work and relieve your joint pain.
Joint Pain & the Immune System:
Understanding how chiropractic care is effective in boosting the immune system centers on the role of your central nervous system in your body’s natural ability to fight off illness and heal injury. First, know that any type disruption to your central nervous system can throw your immune system off kilter – which is often the case with a subluxation in your spine.
A subluxation is a slight misalignment within the vertebrae of your spine, where the vertebrae moves ever so slightly out of position causing an irritation or compression on spinal nerves protruding from between the vertebrae. This in turn can produce stress and damage to surrounding structures including nerves and their functioning. It’s common for a subluxation to disrupt and interfere with the signals and communication between the nerves. central nervous system, and corresponding body systems, such as your joints. Irritation, compression or any narrowing of spinal nerve pathways can compromise the healthy functioning of your immune system and your body’s natural inflammation fighting mechanisms.
Subluxations can emerge from a variety of causes including physical trauma, toxins in the environment, stress, poor posture when sleeping or sitting and more. Unfortunately, subluxations are usually not considered or identified by traditional healthcare providers and primary physicians when investigating joint pain or a reduced immune response. This is for 2 reasons:
1) Subluxations can be ‘stealth’, deceptive, and subtle. It’s nearly impossible for a person experiencing joint pain to connect the pain emanating from their knee, shoulder, hip or hands to a precise location of their spine. However research has shown the central nervous system controls the immune system through neurons located in a section of the spine called the “thoracolumbar spinal cord’ (in blue).Neurons use electrical and chemical signals to function as messengers, sending information between the brain, the spinal cord, and the entire body. This is how the disruption of spinal subluxations can interfere with communications and induce immune system dysfunction.
2) The other reason subluxations are often overlooked is because few medical care providers are trained to identify, adjust and treat spinal subluxations. The only healthcare practitioners trained to diagnose and treat subluxations are chiropractors, craniosacral therapists, and a few others.
I offer a dedicated treatment called an Immune System Boost, click here to see a comprehensive overview on how craniosacral therapy can revitalize your immune system and thereby resolve the underlying issues of your joint pain.
Joint Pain & the Musculoskeletal System
Research Study: Effects of spinal manipulative therapy (chiropractic care) on inflammatory mediators in patients with non-specific low back pain. (Patients with both acute and chronic lower back pain experienced reduced inflammation through receiving chiropractic adjustments)
Coping with persistent joint pain can be frustrating, particularly those who’ve hoped over-the-counter medicine would help – only to discover medications ‘mask’ at best and don’t address the underlying issues. Chiropractic adjustments will help relieve both the painful symptoms and underlying cause of your joint pain by treating the whole body as a whole system.
Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between your body’s musculoskeletal structure and accompanying bodily function. If a joint’s structure is not right, applying varying degrees of accurately targeted manual pressure can effectively adjust and correct a misaligned joint and in the process improve the relationship between the spine, nervous system and the joint’s functioning. As a chiropractor I detect and treat musculoskeletal mechanical disorders with a concentration on the spine, central nervous system, and joints.
The main objective in receiving a Chiropractic adjustment is to realign the vertebrae in your spine to reduce pressure on the nerves and promote a healthy nervous system. When the spine and other joints are properly aligned, and your nerves and immune system functions as they should.
Being treated with chiropractic adjustments can reduce joint stiffness, improve joint range of motion and relieve joint pain. Treatment is usually aimed at restoring structural alignment and balance while reducing inflammation of existing joint pain points and any other musculoskeletal aggravations. This generally leads to increased mobility, improved physical performance and ultimately a better quality of life.
Many people have the mistaken belief that joint pain is inevitable and simply a part of life, but that doesn’t have to be. Lifestyle changes and the right therapeutic treatments that promote healthy joints can go a long way in fending off even age-related degeneration and the most common cause of joint pain, osteoarthritis.
We’re here to help with a multi-disciplinary approach that draws from specialized areas such as chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy, and includes specific treatments ranging from Myofascial Release and Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy to Lymphatic Drainage and Immune System Boost.
I offer a non-pharmacological holistic treatment that resolves the underlying conditions driving joint pain and is concentrated on improving 3 of your body’s systems:
It’s important to be mindful that everyone’s circumstances are unique and I would have to know a few more details about your joint pain to be more insightful on treatment approaches best suited for you. You’re welcome to call me for a more personalized and comprehensive conversation and please be mindful that left untreated, joint pain worsens over time.
About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy
Having a Chiropractic background since the year 2000, Dr. Kaminsky offers many methods of treatment with an emphasis on Craniosacral Therapy in NYC.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a method focusing on the link between the cranium (head) and sacrum (the second to last bone at the base of your spine), scientifically proven to work in unison to pump fluid throughout the body, an unknown disruption of which can cause many health issues. The craniosacral mechanism pumps vital fluid called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) through the body and in a sense energetically lubricates the joints, tissues, organs; basically all cells of the body. It is the driving force of all your body’s systems of function; including maintaining the tone of your muscles.
The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) are surrounded with CSF generating energetic rhythmic impulses of fluid delicately pumping throughout your body’s parts “breathing” the movement of life. This measurable rhythm of moving fluid, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rhythm is the foundational “blueprint” and primary principle of our real-time state of our health.
Compromises of our rhythmic movements of fluid flow correlates to the impulse restrictions in the system which the body is unable to overcome or self-correct. This is the reason why we have “dis-ease”, symptoms, conditions, basically all ailments. This is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body the practitioner can feel, detect, evaluate, and facilitate correction of these restrictive arrhythmic impulses.
The craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm restore and renew in compromised areas allowing for healing to take place of sensory, motor, musculoskeletal, neurological disorders, symptoms, conditions and pain. To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your healing treatment with Dr. Kaminsky.