Arthritis is a joint disorder, which features inflammation, pain and stiffness. There is also often a loss in movement with arthritis, as the joints are too inflamed to move. When only a single joint is involved it’s known as monoarthritis. If two or three joints are involved it’s referred to as oligoarthritis. To date there are over 100 types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs due to wear and tear of the cartilage and rheumatoid arthritis results from an overactive immune system. Arthritis is the most common chronic illness in the nation. Many people cannot work due to arthritis and have to go on disability. And it affects men, women and children. Arthritic pain can impede one’s mobility and quality of life. If you suffer from arthritic pain be sure to call us to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists at Farmingdale Physical Therapy West or Lake Shore Physical Therapy.
Diagnosing Arthritis and Getting Treatment
Your doctor will examine your joints for deformity and inflammation, look for signs of disease and review your history of symptoms. Blood tests, urine tests, x-rays or joint fluid tests may be ordered. Early diagnosis can prevent disability and irreversible damage. Exercise routines, medications, rest and physical therapy may be recommended. A physical therapist can provide a properly guided exercise regimens. It’s important that you do the proper, safe exercises to avoid injury.
The Role of Physical Therapy for Arthritis
Physical therapy is all about engaging in physical activity and exercise. “Physical activity is essential to optimizing both physical and mental health and can play a vital role in the management of arthritis. Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain. Exercise also helps to enhance energy and stamina by decreasing fatigue and improving sleep. Exercise can enhance weight loss and promote long-term weight management in those with arthritis who are overweight.”
Arthritis pain can be miserable and debilitating for those who suffer from it, and unfortunately, there is no cure for it. A physical therapist will custom tailor a therapeutic exercise program to help mobility and strength. A physical therapist will create a treatment program that addresses all areas of the body. For example, if you suffer from arthritis pain in the knee an exercise program will address the lower back, hip and ankle, in addition to the knee. That’s because all of these areas contribute to proper knee control and mechanics. Carrying objects, lifting and squatting may also be a part of the treatment plan.
Physical therapy also consists of manual therapy. It has been proven that joint and soft tissue mobilization help patients suffering from arthritis pain. Deep tissue massage, TENS, ice packs and heat therapy may also be part of the treatment plan by a physical therapist. All of these treatments are passive modalities that increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, reduce pain and enhance mobility. All around, physical therapy is an effective, noninvasive method for arthritis pain. Plus, you won’t have to rely on those pain meds, which can lead to addiction.
If you’re suffering from arthritis pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our certified physical therapists. Our research-driven treatments will help you get fast pain relief. Get your life back on track with treatment from our physical therapists. Our physical therapy team is your partner in getting you well and committed to your success.