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Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Spine

There are apparently some controversial opinions about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and whether it can effect the spine. Whenever something does not reliably do the same thing every time, it seems people put out controversial opinions to try to say it is definitely one way or the other. That’s about trying to understand things.  My response to the opinion battle is that I have seen that RA can, it has, and it often does show up in spinal cases.  Personally, when I hear controversial opinions, I always give a patient both options, and tell them where I stand. I certainly don’t jump on one of them and pretend the other opinion does not exist.   From my perspective, having seen both opinions, and seen cases and patients with RA effecting joints in the spine, and the Sacro-iliac joints, I cannot resolve the idea that RA “does not effect the spine”. Clinically, I have seen it do so, and, more than half the research seems to support this. This information is available on Wikipedia, and Wb MD, two sources which you can use for a back-up opinion, and the rest of the research is buried in scientific journals. The other reality, is that while there is a group that wants to exclude RA from the joints of the spine, how do we then explain the arthritic pain there? We still have to treat it. We will continue to expand our opinions, and do what we need to do.  At Blue Heron Chiropractic, we wont send any one patient away telling them, “Sorry, that’s not supposed to be bothering you…”  The pursuit of science is a really valid pursuit, but not at the expense of the patient in front of me.   Let’s talk about this at our next appointment!

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