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Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson's Chronic Condition Natural Treatment Blog

Intentional musings of a unique Shelby Township Michigan Chiropractic Physician dedicated to helping people find solutions to improving their health by rooting out causes to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, stubborn thyroid disorder symptoms, balance disorders, chronic knee & shoulder pain, migraines, sciatica, ADD/ADHD/ASD, back pain, peripheral neuropathy, gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disorders so they can Reclaim Their Life!

From the Desk of Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC.....

Extremity Joint Dysfunction-The Missing Link to Chronic Pain Relief?

Posted by Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC on Tue, Dec 19, 2023


Chiropractic has the incredible ability to restore the correct movement of spinal bones and relieve nerve irritation. It's not just the spine that can be affected though; other joints in the body can also lose their normal motion and position. By utilizing chiropractic techniques, not only can range of motion be improved, but painful inflammation can also be reduced. The best part? All of this can be achieved without the need for drugs or surgery!

AdobeStock_Several Joints of Human Body-1800The incredible benefits of chiropractic care extend beyond just the spine. In fact, virtually every joint in your body can experience fixations that hinder proper function and range of motion. Whether it's due to trauma, micro-traumas, vibrations, or repetitive motions, these joint problems can be effectively addressed through chiropractic care. So, whether it's your spine, jaw, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, foot, or any other joint, chiropractic care can help restore optimal function and provide relief without the need for drugs or surgery.

Here's a fascinating fact: did you know that your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments all send valuable information to your brain? In fact, a whopping 80% of your brain's stimulation comes from this upstream information. It's truly incredible how interconnected our bodies are!

When the sensors in our tissues fail to provide complete and accurate information to the brain, it hinders the proper transmission of signals to the muscles responsible for controlling our body. This disruption activates pain nerves, and also causes abnormal muscle firing patterns and contractions. Put simply, when a joint is not functioning correctly, it fails to send the brain the necessary information that indicates movement in a specific direction. As a result, our body triggers a pain signal to grab our attention.

Discover in this enlightening article the intricate connection between extremity joint dysfunction and recurrent spinal dysfunction. Prepare to be amazed as we delve into the fascinating ways in which stress, teeth grinding, and spinal issues can lead to TMJ disorders, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, wrist and hand discomfort, hip and sacroiliac joint problems, knee issues, and ankle and foot complications. Brace yourself for a mind-blowing exploration of the intricate connections within our body and the remarkable impact chiropractic care can have on our overall well-being. Don't miss out on this eye-opening read!


Woman massaging her cheek against white background-3Stress, teeth grinding, and spinal issues can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, which affect the joint where your jaw connects to your skull. You can easily feel this joint by placing your fingers in front of your ears and opening your mouth. Skilled chiropractic care can effectively restore proper control of the muscles and ligaments involved, resulting in reduced pain, stiffness, clicking sounds, and even a locked jaw.

Jaw movement problems can arise from limitations in movement at the joint where the base of the skull connects to the top of the spine. This specific area often requires chiropractic adjustments to alleviate TMJ issues. Conversely, TMJ dysfunction can also be a contributing factor to neck pain or discomfort.


AdobeStock_Shoulder Manual Therapy-1200Shoulder issues often stem from the point where the nerves branch out from the spinal cord and exit the neck. This can lead to pain in the shoulder or radiating down the arm, accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling in the wrists or hands. Many patients have experienced significant improvements in their condition through chiropractic care.

Furthermore, it is essential to assess the range of motion in the sternoclavicular joint (where the collar bone connects to the breastbone) and the acromioclavicular joint (where the collar bone joins the front portion of the shoulder blade). Diminished motion or loss of motion in these joints can often lead to shoulder pain, as well as pain in the neck and upper back.


AdobeStock_Tennis Elbow Elbow Pain Lateral EpicondylitisTennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a prevalent repetitive strain injury that often affects the dominant arm. Tennis elbow isn’t just an affliction of tennis players!  Chiropractic care can often help. This condition is frequently observed in individuals who partake in activities such as carpentry, mechanics, office work, cashiering, and tasks involving repetitive hammering, grasping, and rotary forearm movements. It can be quite bothersome and impact daily activities.

It often comes as a surprise to patients when I explain that their elbow pain is actually caused by restricted motion at the lower end of their forearm. The two bones that make up the forearm, the radius and ulna, need to glide smoothly where they connect at the wrist during forearm rotation. When this motion is hindered, it can lead to discomfort and limitations in daily activities. Moreover, this limited mobility frequently serves as a contributing factor to persistent neck discomfort or pain.

Wrist and Hand

Businesswoman with a laptop suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome - isolated over a white background

Bet you didn't know that our hand and wrist collectively consist of a whopping 27 bones! What may come as a surprise is that limited movement in the wrist and hand can actually lead to discomfort and pain in the neck, shoulder, and elbow. Dr. Johnson has successfully alleviated the suffering of many patients by providing specific chiropractic extremity adjustments to these articulations, especially when other types of care have proven ineffective.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that occurs as a result of repetitive movements that affect the spine, arm, and wrist joints. This syndrome is often caused by the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the ligaments in the wrist. However, the underlying cause can often be traced back to misaligned joints in the neck, shoulder, elbow, or wrist. By identifying the specific joints involved and implementing a chiropractic care program, surgery can often be avoided, providing relief and improvement for individuals suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Hip and Sacroiliac Joints


The hip bones and sacrum, known as the "pelvic girdle," play a vital role in supporting the spine. These sacroiliac joints have a direct impact on the nerves that exit the spine. Through chiropractic adjustments targeted at the sacroiliac joint, remarkable results can be achieved. Patients often mistake pain in the sacroiliac area for sciatic nerve pain. Issues with the sacroiliac joint, also referred to as the SI joint, can cause pain or discomfort while climbing or descending stairs, arising from a seated position, or even when sitting.

AdobeStock_hip joint anatomy medical vector illustration-1800

The hip joint is located where the upper leg connects to the pelvis. Issues with movement in this joint can often lead to chronic pain in the lower back, knees, and legs. It is crucial to assess this area and, if possible, work on improving the motion of the hip joint to provide relief and improved mobility.

Chronic lower back pain is frequently linked to dysfunction in the hip joint. One particular muscle, the piriformis, which runs from the sacrum to the hip, tends to become excessively tight and requires regular stretching to enhance hip joint movement and alleviate pain. By addressing this tightness, individuals can experience relief and improved mobility in their hip joint, leading to a reduction in lower back pain.


Dr_Karl_Johnson_Knee_CareKnee problems are incredibly common and can greatly affect your ability to move. Because the knee joint is positioned between the hip and the ankle, it's crucial to assess all three joints to ensure proper motion and prevent any discomfort or pain in the knees. By addressing the motion of these interconnected joints, you can keep your knees happy and functioning smoothly.

Dr. Johnson has successfully provided much-needed relief to dozens of patients through adjustments to the knee joint and the use of Trigenics®. In cases of complicated knee pain, a specialized program that combines multiple treatments can be an effective alternative to knee surgery.

Ankle and Feet

Digital composite of Highlighted foot bones of jogging woman

When you stop to consider it, our feet and ankles truly are remarkable. They bear the weight of our entire body (and even more when we carry heavy loads) as we walk, run, or jump. 

The ankle, known for being the most commonly injured joint in the body, is susceptible to various problems. One prevalent issue is "pronation," where the feet turn outward and kneecaps rotate inward. This can cause instability in the foot's bones due to weak arches, leading to increased stress and discomfort. By addressing the malfunctioning joints in the feet and using custom shoe orthotics, it is possible to alleviate tenderness, plantar fasciitis, enhance your walking pattern, and stabilize your entire skeletal system.

The foot is an intricate and vital part of our body, composed of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles. It plays a crucial role in our ability to connect with the ground and provides a stable platform for our body to balance upon. However, the joints of the foot can sometimes become restricted, compromising our stability and balance. This can have a significant impact on our overall well-being and mobility. 

Countless individuals have found relief and improved well-being by addressing foot joint articulations and incorporating a program of chiropractic care. This approach not only evaluates and treats any restrictions in the foot joints but also utilizes custom orthotics to strengthen the supportive structures of the foot. By doing so, it is possible to alleviate foot, ankle, knee, hip, and spine pain problems and enhance overall stability and balance.

Key Takeaways

Not only does chiropractic care address issues with the spine, but it can also have a significant impact on other joints in the body. Patients who have received chiropractic care have experienced improved function and relief from various health problems, all without the need for drugs or surgery.

Every joint in our body, comprising of more than 200 bones and their corresponding joints and connections, has the potential to lose its natural range of motion and proper alignment. Our brain relies on receiving accurate nerve signals from all our joints, confirming that they are moving as needed. When there are restrictions in movement, it disrupts the flow of information and leads to abnormal muscle tension and firing patterns, ultimately resulting in painful conditions.

During his time in chiropractic college, Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC had an unexpected injury that turned out to be a fortunate event. After seeking treatment for the injury, Dr. Johnson discovered the remarkable effectiveness of extremity adjustments. Interestingly, his regular chiropractor admitted to not having the knowledge or ability to adjust extremities. This experience led Dr. Johnson to further explore and specialize in extremity adjustments, benefiting countless patients with his expertise since 1983.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chiropractic help the bone spurs in my feet?

Bone spurs and other arthritic changes that develop in the joints of the feet, hands, or spine are the body's natural response to prolonged dysfunction. It is believed that by restoring proper joint function, we can potentially slow down or even halt this degenerative process.

Does cracking your knuckles cause damage?

Research indicates that the act of cracking your knuckles does not cause any harm to the joints in your hand known as the metacarpal joints. However, it is important to note that there is a risk of overextending knuckle joints that are already loose. Therefore, it is best to leave the mobilization of these joints, as well as other joints in the body, to the expertise of a skilled chiropractor.

Should I be wearing a wrist brace?

While a wrist brace is often prescribed to provide protection and reduce mobility, it tends to overlook the underlying joint issues causing the problem. Chiropractic care takes a different approach by focusing on restoring proper motion to the affected joints while also strengthening the supporting muscles and soft tissues. This comprehensive approach may involve ongoing supportive care, but many patients find that they can resume their activities without the need for bracing.

Safe and Natural

Chiropractic care is a collaborative journey towards achieving optimal health. As you experience the incredible benefits, don't hesitate to share your success with your loved ones. Open their eyes to the countless individuals who have discovered relief and improved well-being by restoring the integrity of their spine and nervous system through safe and natural comprehensive chiropractic care that addresses all the joints of the body, not just the spinal joints. Spread the word and inspire others to take control of their health and wellness.

If you want to find out more, check out what makes my philosophy unique among health care providers.

I Could Use Some Help With My Health

Always remember one of my mantras, "The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself."

For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look at the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body's Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!




Burn, L, A Manual of Medical Manipulation.  Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994.

Cailliet, Rene, M.D., Neck and Arm Pain.  3rd edition, F.A. Davis Co., 1991: 87-123.

Davis, C.G., D.C., Rear-end Impacts: Vehicle and Occupant Response. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 21(9): 629-39, 1998.

Foreman, S., Croft, A., Whiplash Injuries: The Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome. Williams and Wilkins, 2nd edition, 1995.

Frymoyer, J.W., M.D. (editor), The Adult Spine: Principles and Practice.  2nd edition, Lippincott-Raven, 1997: 1235-43.

Topics: knee pain, low back pain, back pain, chiropractic, neck pain, Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutrition, Chronic Knee Pain,, plantar fasciitis, foot pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Wrist Pain, Hand Pain, chiropractic care, Foot Levelers Orthotics, extremity, extremity adjustment, elbow pain, ankle pain, tennis elbow, jaw pain, motion palpation, TMJ

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