Arthritis Pain Relief
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, simply put. When four or more joints are involved in arthritis, it is called polyarthritis. If two or three joints are involved, it is called oligoarthritis. When one joint has arthritis, it is called monoarthritis. There are over 100 types of arthritis, and it is the most common chronic illness in the country. Many people suffer from arthritis long before they receive a diagnosis. If you think that might be you, read on.
Causes and Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis can be caused by a variety of reasons. Hereditary factors, injury, effects of infection, metabolic abnormalities and a misdirected immune system. Men, women and even children can have arthritis.
The symptoms of arthritis include limited joint function, pain, swelling, and redness. Arthritis in the knee can cause a loss of cartilage, and arthritis in the fingers can cause bone growth. Arthritis can also affect the organs and cause fatigue, weight loss or fever. The diagnosis of arthritis is typically made by a doctor who takes your medical history, examines your joints for inflammation and abnormality, listens to your symptoms and orders tests like blood panel and urinalysis.
Treatment for Arthritis
The pain and stiffness from arthritis can be debilitating, and there’s no cure for it. And even if you’re prescribed medication, it’s only short-term relief. That’s why many patients today turn to Physical and Occupational Therapy for long-term relief. Approximately 60 thousand Americans suffer from some type of Arthritis and rely on Physical and Occupational Therapy for treatment.
A Physical and Occupational Therapist can teach you:
- Exercises tailored to improve joint mobility and strength
- Proper body mechanics
- Joint Protection techniques
- How to modify basic activities to minimize joint wear and tear
- How to properly use adaptations, such as walking aids or tools for opening jars
The goals of a Physical or Occupational Therapy treatment program are to restore lost abilities, prevent further loss of use, maintain fitness and help you to take part in normal daily activities. Treatment for arthritis should start early for the best outcome.
Physical and Occupational Therapy may also entail other methods, such as thermal treatments and joint protection techniques. Heating pads and ice packs can help reduce pain and relax the muscles. With different joint protection techniques, you can reduce stress on your joints. Your Physical or Occupational Therapist may even recommend assistive devices, such as sock grippers or bath stools in the shower.
The key to the best outcome from Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy is to learn the exercises that your Physical or Occupational Therapist shows you and practicing every day at home. Consistency is important. How many times you’ll need to see a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist depends on the severity of your condition. And if you have a flare up, you can return to change your treatment strategy or to update your exercise program.
There’s no reason to let arthritis rule your life. Physical or Occupational Therapy can help you get back to your normal routine. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that Physical and Occupational Therapy cannot help because they have arthritis. However, research continues to dispel this myth. Research has shown that Physical and Occupational Therapy helps reduce pain and improve mobility. One study “compared patients with knee osteoarthritis who were treated in therapy with both manual techniques (stretching and knee mobilizations) and with exercises versus people who just did exercises at home. The patients who went to therapy had twice the pain relief and improvement of function compared to the people who did exercises on their own. This relief lasted when they were rechecked a year later!” That’s good news.
If you’re suffering from arthritis, Contact Us Today at Pinellas Park & Seminole, FL Centers to learn how we can help you. Our Physical or Occupational Therapist will design a treatment plan targeted to your type of arthritis and symptoms. Don’t suffer from arthritis pain. Take action today!
Do your joints feel stiff, achy, or painful, especially when you wake up in the morning? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of arthritis. This is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis, but it is common to also expereince accompanying symptoms. Other sensations you may experience with arthritis include pain in the affected region, which may spread to surrounding body parts; persistent stiffness; inflammation; muscle spasms, joint creaking, clicking, or popping sounds; increased pain with certain activities, such as work or exercise; decreased range of motion in the affected area, abnormalities in gait, such as limping; swelling; weakness; and a warm sensation in the affected joint.
Regardless of the cause of arthritis, physical therapy plays a major role in the treatment of its symptoms. Your physical therapist will conduct a physical evaluation to analyze your joint movement, muscle strength, and overall function, in order to pinpoint the exact areas that are causing you pain. You will then be prescribed a personalized treatment plan, focused around your specific needs. Treatment plans will include targeted stretches and exercises aimed at relieving your pain and improving your function, in addition to any specialized methods your physical therapist deems fit. This may include manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound. Your physical therapist may also include additional services as needed, such as weight management techniques to help ease some stress on your joints, and/or posture improvement to relieve stiffness and prevent injury.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, containing monoarthritis (where only one joint is affected) and oligoarthritis (where multiple joints are affected). According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 54.4 million U.S. adults are diagnosed with some form of arthritis per year. As we age, the cartilage in our joints wears down, causing painful bone-on-bone rubbing, inflammation, stiffness, and pain. While it is possible for arthritis to develop in any of the joints, the fingers, elbows, shoulders, lower back, hips, and knees are among the most common.
While there is no cure for arthritis yet, it is possible to alleviate arthritic symptoms by improving your joint movement, muscle strength, balance, and coordination through physical therapy treatments. In some cases, physical therapy can even make it possible to eliminate symptoms entirely. For best results, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist as soon as you begin noticing arthritic symptoms. The sooner they get treated, the easier they are to manage. Whatever type of arthritis you may be suffering from, physical therapy undoubtedly plays an important role in pain relief. In addition, it can also help you avoid the need for harmful pain-management drugs or invasive surgical correction.