Are You Suffering From Arthritis? Physical Therapy Could Help!
Have you ever found yourself relating a little too much to the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, barely able to walk around because of painfully stiff joints? Unlike the Tin Man, you might have arthritis, and it’s gonna take a whole lot more than a little bit of oil to get you moving again! If your arthritis pain is preventing you from leading a normal, active life, it’s time to look into physical therapy.
Physical therapy can provide a number of benefits, from a wider range of motion to greater joint strength and stability — without the risks and side effects of anti-inflammatory medications. Believe it or not, your painful joints may bother you less once you start using them more! Our physical therapist will be happy to help you conquer your arthritis pain, so contact our physical therapy center today!
According to the CDC, there are over 100 causes of joint pain and inflammation. Arthritis can prove to be confusing as it is painful. Conditions ranging from uric acid accumulation to bacterial infection can inflame and damage the body’s various joints. The usual symptoms include swollen, stiff joints that cause pain either constantly or with joint motion.
The two chief types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis typically occurs as the end result of many years of ordinary joint usage, although it can also develop more quickly in association with an injury or extreme joint wear. The cartilage that normally permits smooth, friction-free motion within the joint grows thin and breaks up, while at the same time, the joint may start producing less and less of its own natural lubricant fluid.
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to occur in periodic flare-ups instead of causing constant pain and deterioration. In this form of arthritis, an immune system reaction attacks the joint components as if they were foreign invaders. It affects the soft tissues around joints. Fluid builds up in the affected joints, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. What causes this kind of arthritis isn’t known, but it may be linked to genetics or environmental factors.
Do I Have Arthritis?
The classic symptoms of arthritis vary according to what type of arthritis you have. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint pain, swelling, redness and deformation. But rheumatoid arthritis may be accompanied by additional symptoms such as fever, weight loss, weakness and fatigue. It also tends to come and go in acute episodes, while osteoarthritis is more of a constant, progressively worsening presence in your life.
The most common arthritis symptom is pain in the joint that has lost too much cartilage. That joint will feel stiff in the morning when you wake up, or if you sit or lie down for extended periods. Activities that use an affected joint will be painful. The joint will also hurt if you touch it or put pressure on it. An arthritic joint might be “noisy,” making cracks and pops when it is used. Your body might even attempt to grow new bone structure in the arthritic joint, as a defense mechanism; this is painful and you will feel it!
Physical Therapy Treatment For Arthritis
If it’s hard for you to turn your head, use your hands, or even walk around without pain, you might be leaning towards not using those arthritis-filled joints at all. However, regularly exercising and flexing those joints in your body really can help you feel and move better! Research shows that exercise can reduce the pain experienced by arthritis patients. Based on your particular condition and type of arthritis, our physical therapist may recommend the following kinds of physical therapy exercises:
- Flexibility exercises – These exercises are designed to help you increase your pain-free range of motion. They can be as simple as shoulder rolls or raising your arm repeatedly.
- Strength-building exercises – Gentle, careful weight training, as prescribed by a physical therapist, can help your muscles and connective tissues assume more of the joints’ burden and can lend extra stability to your joints.
- Aerobic exercises – Aerobic exercises boost your circulation. This increase in circulation supports joint tissue health while helping inflammatory substances and excess fluids to exit the joints.
Contact Us For An Appointment
Remember that arthritis doesn’t discriminate against any age. You might be struggling with arthritis even if you aren’t a grandparent yet! So, are you looking for a powerful, drug-free way to ease your arthritis pain? Contact Carolina Prime Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment today.