Discover How PT Can Help You Move Comfortably Once Again
Chronic joint pain is typically associated with arthritis, although there are other physical conditions that may lead to joint deterioration and pain.
Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability across the United States? In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 50 million people live with arthritis.
While physical therapy is not a cure for arthritis, it can help to relieve pain, increase the range of motion in your affected joint(s), and help you control the problem so that it does not get any worse.
If you’re not proactive when it comes to joint pain, it’s possible that it can get worse over time. If you have been living with joint pain for a while, we can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist today!
How can physical therapy help to relieve my joint pain?
Be prepared to talk about your symptoms during your first visit to a physical therapist. If your doctor has already diagnosed the condition behind your joint pain, make sure to mention that to your physical therapist as well.
Your physical therapist will ask you questions about the type of joint pain that you are experiencing, any specific times of the day when the pain worsens, and any movements that cause the pain to worsen. In addition, they may ask you certain lifestyle questions, such as how much exercise you get on a regular basis and what your nutritional intake looks like.
Your physical therapist is also likely to run you through a series of simple tests during your first visit. These are done in order to test your range of motion, balance, and posture. This information will be used to help create a customized physical therapy treatment plan for your specific needs. Your unique plan will work to relieve joint pain while also promoting muscle strengthening to the affected area(s).
Your physical therapy treatment plan is likely to include a combination of body mechanics, exercises, and manual therapy. Body mechanic exercises involve teaching you the right ways to move, sit, stand, lift objects, and engage in other day-to-day activities without causing pain in your joints.
These will all be low-impact exercises, in order to relieve pressure on the joints while also strengthening your muscles. An example of this is water aerobics, as the water allows you to move with less tension in the joints.
Manual therapy is another common part of a physical therapy treatment plan. It is a specialized type of therapeutic massage that your physical therapist is trained to perform, which works to help soften the tissues and relieve any pain associated with your joint condition.
Common types of joint pain
There are two main types of arthritis that are the most common culprits when it comes to joint pain: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Here is a closer look at these types of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s healing systems attack the joints. This causes inflammation of the joints, which can be extremely painful. Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins in the hands, wrists or feet, but it can spread to the hips, knees, or shoulders – getting progressively worse – if you aren’t proactive in combating it. If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor will likely prescribe pharmaceutical treatments to stave off the symptoms. However, physical therapy can be a tremendous help as well.
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis by far. It typically develops later in life and can be caused by poor body mechanics, overuse of the joint or an injury. The cartilage in joints serves as a natural barrier that lubricates and distributes force during physical activity. When that cartilage breaks down and no longer provides a cushion between adjoining bones, the result is osteoarthritis. The hands, hips, knees and spine are the most common body parts impacted by osteoarthritis.
Certain ailments like gout, bursitis, lupus or tendinitis can also contribute to joint pain. The source of your joint pain may cause the specific course of physical therapy that is recommended for you to vary.
Get started with physical therapy treatments today!
The goal of your treatment plan is to help you regain control of your life by minimizing your joint pain and improving your function.
Contact Wellspring Health Center today to schedule your first physical therapy appointment and get started on the path toward relief!