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You can try several types of treatments to manage the joint pain that stems from arthritis, but the results you obtain from physical therapy is tough to achieve from other alternatives. It’s well-known that currently, there are no permanent treatments for joint inflammation that occurs due to arthritis, but you can manage its symptoms effectively by using quality physical therapy treatments such as manual therapy, massage therapy, and therapeutic exercise, etc.
People across the world generally prefer physical therapy over other options available to them because it plays a significant role in improving their overall health.
So if you’ve been struggling with arthritis for a couple of years now, and you no longer feel like relying on medications because they stopped working the way they used to, you should consider physical therapy now. Physical therapy can bring a world of difference in your joint health. It focuses on strengthening your body’s ability to perform physical activities by improving your mobility. Whether you talk about getting up from your chair or bed, going for morning walks, enjoying outdoor sports, or climbing up and down stairs, if arthritis is making it tough for you to perform any of these activities, physical therapy will help you get back to your routine.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, “The goal of a physical therapy session is to teach you how to do things in your treatment plan – such as performing certain exercises, or how to best use hot/cold compresses – for yourself.”
Before discussing how physical therapy helps in dealing with joint pain, let’s throw some light on the signs and symptoms of arthritis.
Signs & Symptoms of Arthritis
Symptoms of arthritis can vary from person to person, but in general these are the most common:
- Joint pain that minimizes as the day unfolds
- Joint stiffness that affects mobility
- Joint swelling that occurs due to inflammation
- Fatigue that affects patients’ productivity
- Joint pain that worsens when a patient indulges in physical activity
Apart from that, patients with arthritis also struggle with fever, and conditions like stress and depression, which can play a part in reducing their quality of life.
Now let’s take a look at how physical therapy can help in managing the signs and symptoms of arthritis.
Easing Arthritis Pain
Arthritis pain keeps a patient from enjoying the activities of daily life. Whether you talk about doing dishes and laundry, taking a bath, climbing the stairs, commuting to work, or prolonged period of sitting, each of these activities can worsen the joint pain that occurs due to arthritis. However, physical therapy can not only prevent your pain from worsening but can eliminate it to a great extent.
According to Outpatient PT, “physical therapist can help provide you with long-term relief from debilitating pain and symptoms. A trained therapist can put together a detailed treatment plan that addresses your individual needs and health goals.”
So if you were avoiding physical therapy, thinking that it’s not that effective, don’t jump to conclusions without trying it. Give it a shot first, and then form an opinion about it.
Treating Stiff Joints
Joint stiffness, which is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis, can affect a patient’s mobility; therefore, it’s essential to treat it effectively. So if you experience this problem after a prolonged period of sitting or after waking up from sleep in the morning, physical therapy can help you in a big way.
Apart from seeking physical therapy, make sure that you make some changes in your lifestyle. You should start consuming anti-inflammatory foods, go for regular walks, and maintain a healthy weight.
Things like joint pain, inflammation, and swelling can affect your flexibility immensely, but consulting a physical therapist at the right time can bring a world of difference in your condition. Your physical therapist will create a personalized care plan to meet your individual needs. They will not only add flexibility specific therapeutic exercises in your care plan but will also teach you how to perform them effectively.
They can also use techniques like massage therapy to strengthen your muscle and joint health, which will eventually help in increasing flexibility. Having excellent flexibility is essential for every individual to live an active life.
Poor posture can increase your arthritis pain; therefore, it’s essential to improve it. When you consult a physical therapist, they will check your physical fitness, and if they find you need to work on your posture, they will include posture-specific exercises in your care plan to address your problem.
When you improve your posture, you will observe a significant reduction in pain and discomfort. Poor posture not only makes the lives of arthritis patient more complicated but can also lead to musculoskeletal pain in otherwise healthy people. It often increases the risk of back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Learning the use of Walkers & Canes
Your physical therapist will also teach you how to use devices like walkers and canes. If they are necessary for you, you should know how to use them properly. Your physical therapist will devote sufficient time when it comes to teaching you the right techniques of using assistive devices.
Apart from that, if your condition is too severe, they will also suggest braces and splints for supporting inflamed joints. And lastly, they may also recommend shoe inserts for lowering stress on the lower body.