Arthritis (osteoarthritis, or “boney” arthritis) usually in the neck or lower back refers to an increase in bony growth of the vertebrae in these areas. When the head is continually held forward from where it optimally belongs, when there have been even minor injuries to the head or neck and the weight of the head is not carried equally among all the vertebrae of the neck, then pressure will build up more on one, or a few vertebrae, rather than being distributed evenly. When pressure builds in any area of the spine, the body will, over time, deposit additional bone (calcium) onto those bones bearing the extra weight, in an effort to reinforce these areas. These additional bony growths are called osteoarthritic growths, or more commonly referred to simply as arthritis, or arthritic spurs. These arthritic changes can limit normal ranges of motion of the neck and put pressure on the discs and nerves in the neck, causing minor aches to major pain. Traditional medicine’s most common method of treatment for this type of arthritic pain are NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).which may help to reduce the symptoms of pain, inflammation, and stiffness. It’s important to note that although sometimes needed for some level of pain relief, these medications do not stop, reverse or prevent the future growth of bony arthritic changes in the neck. They simply “cut the wires to the fire alarm, without putting out the fire.” The specific biomechanical imbalances that have been causing the improper bearing of the weight of the head on the neck bones, or imbalances in the lower spine must be isolated, and specific corrective procedures employed to alter this arthritis-producing imbalanced structure. This is chiropractic’s, in particular, the Pettibon System’s (the advanced protocol that we offer) strong suit. Arthritis of the spine can only be stopped, and its associated pain naturally reduced, when the form and function of the neck are restored as closely as possible to biomechanical norms. Classical chiropractic spinal mobilizations will also free fixated vertebrae enough to relieve pain and possibly slow additional arthritic build up. Whichever approach best fits the patient’s needs is the one we employ.