Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis.

The Annals of Internal Medicine published the results of a survey of 232 people who had arthritis and were under a rheumatologists care. Of those 63% responded to the survey by saying they were using some form of "complementary care" as named by the study.  Of those people 31% were using chiropractic. These number may themselves be grossly under reported as only 45% of the patients told their doctor about using the other forms of care.

These reported numbers translate to over 19% of the public who is seeing a rheumatologists is also seeing a chiropractor. And if less that half of the patients are telling their doctor about it the actual number may be twice as high.

Possibly the most impressive statistic was that 73% of those trying chiropractic found it helpful. The reasons given why people said they tried the non-medical care was to control pain, because they heard it helps, because it is safe, because it helped someone they know, and because their prescription medication wasn't working.

The July 26, 2012, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, discusses a documented case study of a woman suffering with Rheumatoid arthritis, whose quality of life was dramatically improved through chiropractic.

The authors of the study begin by explaining that, "Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an idiopathic autoimmune disease categorized by systemic inflammation primarily of joints and soft tissue". They also note that previous studies show that RA is 2 to 3 times more common in women than men. The authors also report that according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was estimated that in 2005, 1.293 million adults aged 18 and older suffered from RA.

In this case a 54-year-old woman entered a chiropractic health center specifically for care of her Rheumatoid Arthritis.  At that time, the woman was complaining of severe pain in both her hands and her fingers. She also had swelling of the joints and muscles in her hands, fingers, knees, feet and toes. In a self rating pain scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, the woman rated herself as a 9 out of 10 if she was not taking medication and a 3 out of 10 when medicated.

The woman had been diagnosed 7 years earlier with RA. By the time she came to the chiropractor, her condition had gotten so bad that many mornings she awoke with pain that made standing erect very difficult. The study authors also reported that when walking, she often had to hold onto the wall due to the severe magnitude of her pain.
A chiropractic examination was performed consisting of several tests including x-rays and a surface EMG study. The determination of the presence of subluxations was made and a specific course of chiropractic care was initiated.

The results for this woman were life changing. By the fourth month of chiropractic care, she was able to discontinue taking her medications. By the tenth month of care, her pain from the RA had reduced to a 1 out of 10 without her having to take any medications. The woman later reported that she was able to dance, exercise, and walk up her stairs without any pain.

In their discussions the authors wrote, "After seven years of management in the medical model the patient exhausted her options and was ready to take control of her health. The patient was able to gradually stop taking medication for pain and inflammation and she is now drug-free. This patient made dietary changes and underwent corrective chiropractic care to realign the spine to allow for better function."