Chronic joint pain causes

Chronic joint pain causes invites chiropractic to make a contribution; correct food and exercises are vital too.

Chronic pain has recently been in the medical spotlight with a common painkiller, Propoxyphene, in use for over 50 years in preparations such as Darvon, Darvocet, Doloxene, Lentogesic and Synap Forte, being described as the worst drug in history and finally being banned in most countries.

Propoxyphene has been the direct cause of the demise of many patients with osteoarthritis. No single drug has ever caused so many deaths,  says researcher Dr Jonasson.

Particularly galling is the admission by the president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine that Propoxyphene isn't very effective anyway. Yet this dangerous drug has been prescribed for over fifty years for chronic osteoarthritis.

All the research points towards the great danger of using more than one analgesic in the treatment of chronic pain. Those serious side effects go up exponentially, for example if you've used both aspirin and Darvocet.

Chronic joint pain causes

Chronic joint pain causes is a great medical dilemma.

Femoro acetabular impingement syndrome causes hip arthritis.


Darvocet contains the aforementioned propoxyphene, the worst drug in history, but mixed with a second dangerous drug, Tylenol (Acetaminophen) which, in its own right, causes more ER visits that any other medicine on the market, it's a deadly combination; don't even consider it for your chronic joint pain causes.

and Tylenol...

Taking Darvocet mixed with Tylenol is madness, because you'll soon discover that the treatment will be worse than the disease. There are any number of better solutions to your chronic joint pain causes.

Taking dual antiinflammatory drugs is downright dangerous too.

Together, Propoxyphene and Acetaminophen make up an extremely dangerous cocktail of drugs in the treatment of chronic joint pain causes.

Likewise with dual antiinflammatory drugs such as taking both aspirin and ibuprofen together.

Let's start by acknowledging that the causes of chronic joint pain are many, and cannot be fully covered in a short newsletter. Let us divide them up into the more common causes of chronic joint pain.

Van Gogh sketch showing a man who clearly has lumbar stenosis.

Chronic joint pain causes

Chronic joint pain causes invites chiropractic to make a contribution; correct diet and exercises are vital too.


A very large part of any pain clinic is the management of old injuries that have left their mark. It may be because they were poorly treated at the time, or perhaps just a serious injury that unavoidably would cause chronic pain.

Having treated whiplash for more than thirty years, I am now of the opinion that most whiplash injuries will leave their mark. And, that's not just my opinion. WHIPLASH RESEARCH confirms that 40-50% of the victims of MVAs end up with permanent pain.

Falls of horses, slipping on ice, contact sports like rugby and football... old trauma is a major factor in joint pain causes.


AP pelvis showing a leg length inequality and consequent scoliosis.

Leg length inequality and Low Back Pain are well known bedfellows. A short leg makes for an imbalance in the pelvis and spinal scoliosis. Moreover, the incidence of hip and knee arthritis is much higher if you have a short leg.

What is controversial, is "how short". My experience is that an insert in a the shoe of only a few millimetres can make an enormous contribution to chronic low back pain, but medical opinion seems to be that anything less than 10-15mm is not significant.

Another chronic joint pain cause ... also a structural abnormality, is a lumbarisation or sacralization at the first joint above the sacrum. In addition to the rudimentary disc joint, much narrowed, there are often pseudo joints between spatulated, large transverse processes and the sacrum leading to chronic pain. Sacralization of L5 CaseFile ...

Spot x-ray showing sacralization of L5.


Much chronic joint pain is caused by too much sitting, particularly in poorly designed chairs. Truck drivers, office workers and couch potatoes in general all have a higher incidence of chronic lower back pain.

Conversely, there is strong research that EXERCISE CLASS BENEFITS ARTHRITIS ... the body was designed to be in motion.Too little activity causes far more problems than too much activity.


Physiologists have now proved beyond doubt that fixated joints become arthritic. IMMOBILISATION ARTHRITIS ... Hyaline cartilage has no blood supply of its own and is utterly dependent on the fluid that bathes the joint for oxygen, nutrients and the removal of waste products. In fixated joints, this "synovial fluid" is not adequately replenished and refreshed causing arthritis.


There is heaps of evidence now that a deficiency of omega-3 (found in fish and flaxseed oil and walnuts) for example in the diet is a major cause of arthritis. For more information follow this link: FISH OIL HEALTH BENEFITS

Likewise a build up of a waste product in the body called homocysteine has a dramatic effect on the cardiovascular system and joints. HOMOCYSTEINE CARDIOVASCULAR ...

First and foremost is the need for plenty of greens in the diet to provide plenty of folate, choline and betaine; and an egg to supply vitamin B12. These are responsible for the immediate methylation of homocysteine; it's highly inflammatory.

  • High folate levels
  • Choline food sources
  • What is betaine?

A magnesium deficiency too is the the cause of chondrocalcinosis, a major cause of the chronic pain of osteoarthritis.

If you want lovely green beans like these, full of magnesium, high in vegetable protein, low in fat, full of phyto sterols then you should, if you have your own garden become acquainted with making a compost pile ...

Because of many links to our two sister sites, and we have been accused of being a link farm, a dreaded connotation. It's irritating but to find links to the subjects in bold you have to copy and paste it into the site search function in the navigation bar on your left.

Green bean flowers.

Just as other chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure require maintenance care, so does joint pain that you've had for years.

No one can cure these conditions and careful management of chronic joint pain, DCs believe, should include an occasional, but regular chiropractic adjustment.

How occasional is that? That depends on a host of factors; how long you've had it, whether the ache radiates down your arm or leg and a dozen more. Did you know that research proves that if you've had neck pain for six months, you've got it for life no matter what treatment you have? Do something sooner rather than later.

Every month I get letters from around the world, not to mention patients in the clinic, with pain in the ribcage, usually associated with midback discomfort or ache, and sometimes with breastbone tenderness. This may be associated with a fall, or a scoliosis, or Scheuermann's disease or the coughing associated with chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Occasionally I confess after an overly robust manipulation you may have chest pain. Iatrogenic disease pertains to chiropractic too, though it's very rare for it to become a chronic condition; temporary after the treatment, sometimes acute, but rarely does it last long.

Whatever, chronic joint pain causes are many, additive and often obscure, relating to an old injury perhaps fifty years ago.


A less common cause of chronic rib pain is a cervical rib. Normally the ribs belong to the midback - the thoracic spine, but very occasionally a large cervical rib may interfere with the brachial plexus and sometimes the subclavian artery.

The result is chronic arm pain. Read more about this cervical rib casefile and the devastating effect they can have, albeit rarely. Small cervical ribs are common and are not usually clinically significantly.

Diagram showing how a cervical rib penetrates the inter scalene triangle.
Anti inflammatory drugs, and a lot more.


I don't believe it unfair to say that medicine's approach in many instances is to prescribe painkillers of one sort or another. Month after month, year after year. It's understandable because patients are often resistant to change, and many doctors are still not open to the benefits of chiropractic treatment.

For many it was a wake-up call when ex-President Bush's wife described the pain from an ulcer acquired from taking anti inflammatory drugs for chronic joint pain as the worst pain she had ever experienced. In fact it nearly cost her her life. More than 10,000 people die every year in the USA alone from a bleeding ulcer caused directly by anti inflammatory drugs.

Another shock was when the "miracle drug" Vioxx was withdrawn suddenly from the market because of all the incidents of sudden heart attack associated with the Cox-2 inhibitor drugs.

Now... PROPOXYPHENE Worst Drug in History

So, what are you to do?

... for your chronic joint pain causes and relief if these painkillers are likely to contribute more pain and sudden death than the disease itself causing your pain?

Unashamedly, recognising that as a chiropractor I am biased, I would humbly put forward the following suggestions.

1. Resolve NEVER to take more than one anti inflammatory drug at a time, even aspirin plus another NSAID.

2. Exercise the joint(s) that are causing you pain on a daily basis with great faithfulness. These lower back exercises for example, done EVERY morning BEFORE getting out of bed, will do wonders for your lower back and leg pain ...

 Exercises for the low back

Exercises for the low back are the most important contribution you can make to the health of your lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints; they are a far better bet in the management of your chronic joint pain causes than taking medication; perhaps even more effective than chiropractic help, though that's a heresy!

Done sensibly, there are absolutely no side effects from doing the right exercises for the low back; it's very rare they will make you worse.

They should be done at home, daily, remembering that you are not preparing for the Winter Olympics!

"Many thanks for the newsletter. I have attained the age when totting up many sporting injuries, that I have hitherto somehow have managed to ignore, are now refusing to be run, paddled or peddled away.

The day has arrived to do something about them, and your newsletter has been the catalyst. I have followed your suggestions, particularly the low back exercises; I should have started them thirty years ago.

Not only can I now sport with increased enjoyment, I also have the satisfaction of knowing that, through your generosity, I have helped myself."

That incidentally is what Chiropractic Help is about: encouraging you to help yourself. I'm not entirely altruistic! You can always buy one of my Bernard Preston books to say thank you. They are dirt cheap on your Kindle or tablet. 

Likewise, at Chiropractic Help you'll find frozen shoulder exercises, rotator cuff exercises, chronic neck pain exercises, carpal tunnel exercises, hip exercises, knee exercises, ankle joint exercises... use the Search this Site function at C-H.

3. Go for a walk every day. And if you can't walk, then cycle or swim. But do something daily for pain relief. It really does help. Also, researchers have found that how fast you can walk 13' (4m) is an excellent predicator of how long you will live. WALKING SPEED ...

4. Go for a weekly massage; it's one excellent solution to your chronic joint pain causes. 

5. Look long and hard at your food. If you are on a "Black and White" diet you can expect to find one of the chronic joint pain causes, as well as cardiovascular and bowel pain. Five colours a day is considered a minimum.

Foods like strawberries, watermelon, apple, carrot, and broccoli should all be in the planning; I aim for ten coloured foods. Look to increase the omega-3 in your diet; that means fatty fish, freshly ground flaxseed, free range eggs and a herb called purslane.

We also enjoy raisins, hummus, parsley, spinach and zucchini. Get into the habit periodically of counting how many coloured foods you have eaten that day; even small amounts as in a sprig of cilantro; not neurotically, but just to keep a check on yourself.

6. Consider going for a monthly Chiropractic consultation. I treat so many elderly folk with chronic neck and lower back pain; hip, foot and shoulder aches; none are cured, but most are helped or they would stop coming and I believe that it is far safer, and more effective than those dangerous medications. Is there research to prove it? There's oodles.

7. Grandma would have regularly cooked up a ham bone or chicken bones to make a bouillon for a soup; that's where the chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine are to be found, so helpful for your cartilage. It's not difficult, but it does take a little planning. The flavour of your soups will improve 1000 percent.


Chiropractic is a form of manual therapy, meaning done by hand, that together with more exercise and a better diet will do amazing things for your health. But, how many with chronic joint pain causes are cured? Probably not many, but that should not be discouraging. Medicine doesn't cure them either, nor does it permanently fix those with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Chronic conditions needs to come under management control rather than seeking the elusive cure. Maintenance care is often a large part of the solution.

Understanding chronic joint pain causes is important for both you and your doctor; it's healthy to use the brain the Good Lord gave you. Think and plan and you'll find that to a large degree you can help yourself.

  • LOWER BACK PAIN homepage … 
  • Purslane plant is the richest source of omega-3 in your garden; most consider it a weed. 
  • Dual antiinflammatory drugs...

› Chronic joint pain causes

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

Do you want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.