Joint Dysfunction

Podcast Interview:

Hello everyone. This is Liz Harvey coming to you from our studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the U.S. In today’s episode, we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Dennis James, a performance chiropractic clinic located in Keller, Texas. Dr. James is a nationally recognized chiropractor and a member of both the American and Texas Chiropractic Association. He is also highly trained in acupuncture and a Fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America. Dr. James specializes in family chiropractic care, treating infants to seniors.

Today we’re going to talk about a very important topic:

Joint Dysfunction

RC: Hi, Dr. James. How are you today?

Dr. Dennis James: Doing great, thank you Liz.

RC: Well thanks for joining me.

What are some examples of joint dysfunction that people suffer from?

Dr. Dennis James: Well there are many because any joint that is in the body can actually have a dysfunction. But just to name a few, the SI joint, the sacroiliac joint down low is a very common one. You can also have TMJ dysfunction which is going to be the jaw itself. You can have dysfunction of the lower extremity, basically any of those joints. The ankle, the knee, the hip. And also the upper extremity whether it be the wrist, elbow, shoulder.

But one I think that most people are not aware of or often overlook are the intervertebral joints and that’s just because there are so many of those joints throughout the spine that they tend to get help from other joints. If one of those dysfunctions are there on one of those joints then the ones above and below tend to take on some of that effort for it. So, although you have a little bit of a loss of range of motion, it doesn’t always produce the same type of debilitating response or pain that it would on some of the other joints. And unfortunately, something left there for a period of time based upon where those nerves exit, that can become a bigger issue down the road.

What causes joint dysfunction?

Dr. Dennis James: Again, it depends on which joint it is. There are a lot of different causes. If we take a look at the lower extremity or the sacroiliac joint, we can have improper running, we can have sports, we can have just regular overuse injuries. Sitting for long periods of time can cause it especially in the SI area or other different types of trauma. When we get to the upper extremities, people can work out wrong, they can lift wrong, overuse, sitting at computers especially can cause a lot of things especially with the elbow and wrist at times.

If we go up to the jaw we know that eating certain foods can cause it. Especially emotional stress up in the jaw can actually cause some joint dysfunction up there. Or even if you just go see a dentist or orthodontist sometimes you just get in the wrong position, it can cause some issues there.

Lastly probably the most complicating is when we get to the spinal joint dysfunction, those intervertebral joints that we just talked about. Those are a little more complicated because you can have both the micro and the macro traumas but you can also get the joint dysfunction from emotional stress through there or other toxins and stuff that the body ingests also.

How can chiropractic care help alleviate joint dysfunction?

Dr. Dennis James: It does it by restoring the proper movement into the joint which then allows for normal function again. When that happens the body is now able to adapt back to health and function properly. The big issue with this though is that you must find the initial cause and one of the things is probably the biggest example I see. We see a lot of people that have things like, let’s use Achilles inflammation as an example. They come in and they say I’ve had an ex-ray of my ankle, I’ve had an MRI of my Achilles area, it shows inflammation, nothing else is going on, it doesn’t seem to get better. And they have had massages and they have done all these different types of treatments for it and unfortunately it keeps returning. Sometimes if that is the case, you’ve got to look at other areas, that means that’s a secondary issue.

Many times more than not, you can take a look back up to the pelvis, find out that that is not stable up there, that you are having an issue with that SI joint and sometimes that will take you all the way back up to what is called the upper lumbar or lower thoracic area which is a portion of the mid-back area where that muscle can actually be pulling that pelvis which then puts pressure down on the leg and so what is happening is that Achilles can never actually calm down and be in its relaxed position. Now the inflammatory process is kicking in and although that Achilles is being treated, the root issue to allow it to relax was never fixed. We want to get that movement back in the joint but we have also got to make sure that we assess the entire body to make sure we get to the primary cause as well.

Can diet changes help alleviate pain and inflammation in the joints?

Dr. Dennis James: Absolutely. In many ways. The obvious change is when you eat healthier you tend to carry less weight on your skeleton and because of that you are going have minimized the amount of constant stress on the joint. The other big way nutrition makes a difference is that certain foods are very inflammatory foods. For this reason, when 80% or more of your diet is high in these foods, it can put your body in a constant state of pain and discomfort. I try to encourage others to eat 80% of non-inflammatory foods and maybe only 20% or less of inflammatory foods. That is going to keep your inflammation much lower within the body and it is going to keep you feel younger and healthier as well.

What other natural ways including exercises can people do to help improve joint dysfunction?

Dr. Dennis James: I think just like we talked about a second ago. Diet is very important for that just because you want the inside of your body to be healthy. Health is an inside out thing. And so we do need to know that whatever we put in our body is impacting it on the inside. Number two I would say, exercise and stretching. For every ounce of strength you get, you need to have an ounce of flexibility as well and you see so many people go all in on only one of these. They may only do the stretching portion of yoga where you are only elongating your muscles which is wonderful, but there are also strengthening portions of it that you can do.

Or there are people that will only go to the gym and lift weights but we need to make sure that we’re stretching on the other side so that we have a balance of that function as well, so that the joints are not getting too restricted through there, but they’re also being stable through there. We want to have both aspects of it.

Lastly of course is chiropractic. There’s no better way to actually put motion into a joint naturally so that the motion stays there, we keep the energy flow in there so that it can stay healthy.

RC: Thank you, Dr. James. We know you’re extremely busy so I just want to thank you for your time and help today.

Dr. Dennis James: Thank you, Liz I appreciate you having me on.

RC: And for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the doctor, please visit www.performancechiropractic.clinic or call 817 337-3636 to schedule an appointment.

And on behalf of our team we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading experts.

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