Arthritis is a debilitating disease for over 50 million Americans. The Centers for Disease Control has shown that 1 in 2 people will have joint inflammation in their knee by the time they are 85, and 1 in 4 will develop painful, hip inflammation during their lifetime. The good news is that you don’t have to live with arthritis pain or take constant medication. The right physical therapy can make all the difference.
Arthritis Pain affects the cartilage of joints and most pain is due to wear and tear. However, the uneven wear and tear cause cartilage debris to shave off into the joint causing painful inflammation. This condition is made worse by a tightening of the tissue of the joint, loss of muscle strength supporting the joint and altered movement because of the range of motion problems.
Arthritis Pain Relief
Physical therapy is one of the most important treatment plans to help joint inflammation and improve your overall joint and ligament health. While arthritis can slow you, it doesn’t have to. If you are experiencing joint pain and decreased mobility, physical therapy can help.
In physical therapy we focus on the following:
- Restoring natural pain-free range of motion in your joints
- Improving muscular support and strength around your joints
- Enhancing joint balance and function
- Teaching you what to do to protect your joints from further damage
While physical therapists cannot repair your cartilage, our unique treatments can reduce or completely alleviate your pain, swelling and improve your ability to walk, run, bend or reach.
Here are some of the different conditions we help:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Joint pain
- Post-surgery recovery
- Joint replacement recovery
Because arthritis is a catch-all term, pinpointing what causes arthritis may be difficult. In most cases, arthritis is caused by overuse, wear and tear, or injuries. It is also possible for arthritis to be caused by infections, such as Lyme disease, an immune system dysfunction, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or an abnormal metabolism, which can lead to gout.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, containing monoarthritis (where only one joint is affected) and oligoarthritis (where multiple joints are affected). Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which develops from “wear and tear” of cartilage, and rheumatoid arthritis, which develops from overactive immune systems.
Targeted exercises can help ease your arthritic pains. It is possible to maintain an active lifestyle while living with arthritis, but you may need some assistance. Your physical therapist will conduct a physical evaluation to determine what the best course of treatment will be for you. Your physical therapist will then guide you through prescribed gentle exercises that become more intensive as you progress in your treatments, in order to help you achieve your highest levels of physical capability.
Regardless of the cause of arthritis, physical therapy plays a major role in the treatment of its symptoms. Physical therapy should always be the first method of treatment, before resorting to more aggressive procedures, such as surgery. In fact, in many cases, physical therapy can even eliminate the need for risky treatment methods altogether, such as harmful pain-management drugs or invasive surgical correction. If the condition is severe and surgery is required, physical therapy can also help you prepare and recover from your procedure