Joint Injuries

When I think of an injury to a joint, whether it be from trauma like a sprain or fracture or from degenerative physical changes as in arthritis, I always think of the 3R’s

  1. Reduce Inflammation
  2. Reconstruction or Rebuilding the joint
  3. Restore range of motion

You need to follow these guidelines for proper healing to occur.

1. Reduce Inflammation

There is a pneumonic that was taught to me in chiropractic school to remember this first step. When there is any injury to a joint, for the first 24–48 hours always think R.I.C.E. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation (if possible). There are also several nutraceuticals that you need to keep in mind during this phase. Fish oils are a must to decrease the inflammation produced during injury.

2. Reconstruction or Rebuilding the Joint

After the initial period of rest, it is now time to start thinking how to rebuild the joint. Before any exercise regime is to begin, you need to make sure that the joint is in proper structural alignment. This is done with proper, precise, gentle chiropractic adjustments. Do this as soon as possible.

Once the joint is properly aligned, you can begin physical therapy as well as a moderate exercise program. It is always important to remember that a joint needs to be aligned in order for physical therapy or exercises to really work. If you exercise while the joint is misaligned, you can actually increase the chances for further injury and degeneration.

There are also many nutritional supplements that I recommend during this Rebuilding phase. They are Collagex, MSM Powder, Quercetin/Ascorbate Powder, and Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate liquid.

3. Restore Range of Motion

This final phase requires consistent exercises to increase the range of motion of the joint. Always keeping in mind the concept of “what you don’t use, you lose”. It is always a good idea, to do this moderately, but consistently. It is much better to do range of motion exercises with perfect form, rather than wanting to do them with high weight in a repetitive fashion.

Remember to visit your Chiropractor to make sure the joint is well aligned. Lubrication of the joint is also very necessary, particularly at this time. Good quality water at this time is a must. Doctors and nutritionists always stress to drink 1 quart of water every day, for every 50 pounds of body weight. Stay hydrated to avoid joint pain.

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