According to the CDC, Arthritis is the most common cause of disability among adults in America. It limits everyday activities for millions of people. If you don't have arthritis, chances are someone you know does.
Arthritis is a diagnosis that means you have pain related to changes in your cartilage, the bone below the cartilage, and inflammation of the synovial membrane. These changes often cause joint swelling, stiffness, and pain. You may be at risk if you are older, obese, have had previous joint injuries, or have a family history of arthritis. Osteoarthritis means that bones are getting closer to each other. There may be bone spurs, changes in the cartilage, and the end of the bone, which is commonly called degenerative joint disease.
Interestingly, arthritis is often considered the cause of pain as people age. However, many other factors affect the pain, and arthritis may not be the primary cause. Many people are skeptical that anything can be done for their arthritis. This is often because they have friends who haven't found relief, or another doctor has told them that it's only going to get worse.
The first steps to dealing with arthritis are learning the facts, understanding the condition, and knowing that there is help along the way. Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for arthritis, but there are a lot of current treatments that help arthritis. Physical therapy is one of them.
Our physical therapists are excited when someone comes in with arthritis because of how much improvement these patients typically see. Many people walk out the first day with noticeable relief from their arthritis pain. Rarely do we not see at least a 50% improvement in pain over the course of treatment. Like you, many are skeptical initially, but we do have great success with osteoarthritis.
Physical pain from arthritis might tempt you to stay still as movement can cause pain. You can avoid pain by not moving, but that won't help you out in the long run. Joints that don't move will stiffen even more and become even more sensitive to pain!
Physical therapy interventions help you increase your range of motion and decrease your pain. How does it do this? It improves the health of all the tissues in and around the joints and makes them more tolerant to activity. We begin by giving a thorough evaluation to determine how much arthritis plays a role in your pain to provide you with the best treatments. The most common interventions include targeted exercise for range of motion and increased load tolerance, joint manipulation, and dry needling.
Arthritis is a pain. (Literally!) But that doesn't mean you have to stop living. There are ways to treat it. You can feel better. Call and schedule an appointment today!
Additional resources we have available for those with arthritis: