Don’t Let Arthritis Slow You Down
If You Are Living with Arthritis, Physical Therapy can Help
Physical therapy is extremely beneficial for arthritis sufferers, as it not only relieves pain but also decreases the risk of sustaining an arthritis-related injury.
Do you experience stiff and achy joints when you wake up in the morning? Does that pain seem to disappear as you move throughout the day? Are your joints sensitive and painful to the touch? Do you hear “popping” or “clicking” sounds when moving the affected joint(s)? If you can relate to these issues, you may be living with arthritis.
Millions of Americans are diagnosed with arthritis, and it is an extremely common condition to develop. Many people wait until their arthritis becomes severe before seeking the help of a physical therapist, but ProTailored Physical Therapy can help you before it reaches that point!
Contact our Fort Wayne physical therapy office today at 260-739-0300 or click here to request a consultation and discuss how our treatment plans can help manage your arthritic pains, once and for all.
How will physical therapy help my arthritis?
Physical therapy can benefit anyone who is suffering from the aches and pains of arthritis. At your initial appointment, you will undergo a physical evaluation to determine the best course of treatment for your needs. Treatment plans will be dependent upon the severity of your conditions and any health risks you may have.
At ProTailored Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to providing you with the best quality of treatment by designing individualized treatment plans for the specific recovery goals of each patient. Treatment plans could include targeted techniques aimed at relieving your arthritis symptoms and restoring your joint function.
These may include any combination of exercises, stretches, hands-on techniques like dry needling, cupping, massage and joint mobilization to treat poor joint mechanics and tight tissues, ice and heat therapies, and/or weight management techniques to provide quick pain relief and get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible!
Do you have arthritic symptoms?
The Arthritis Foundation states that approximately 50 million people live with arthritis. As the leading cause of disability across the U.S., it is important to understand the symptoms associated with it.
Osteoarthritis wears down the joints. This can be due to the natural deterioration of age, or from repetitive overuse as mentioned earlier. When this happens, the cartilage within the joints no longer acts as a cushion and shock absorber, resulting in the bones rubbing together. This causes mild to severe pain, in addition to tight and sore joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain and swelling, and in severe cases may lead to joint deformity or bone erosion. This leads to weakness, stiffness, tenderness, or “pins and needles” sensations.
The daily life of someone living with arthritis can be greatly limited without the help of physical therapy. Arthritis can make it difficult to work, exercise, and do the activities you love.
The two main types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis, the most commonly experienced type of arthritis, is fairly easy to diagnose. There are a couple of different ways in which osteoarthritis can develop, such as a sudden injury, or with gradual “wear and tear” over time.
Sometimes, osteoarthritis can even develop from a seemingly healed injury. Imagine this: you were a football player in school who experienced a harsh knee collision during a game. You get treated for the injury, recover, and return to your sport. However, you continue to notice the lingering pains of your knee injury, even after your football career ends. After an injury heals, it is still possible for arthritis to eventually develop in that affected area – especially if it still experiences the same repetitive overuse after the fact.
This can also be said for labor-intensive careers. Let’s say you’re a carpenter or roofer, whose job requires the repetitive swinging of tools. This puts your joints at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life.
Rheumatoid arthritis, the second most commonly experienced type of arthritis, is not as well understood as osteoarthritis. Referred to as “inflammatory arthritis,” it develops as an autoimmune response, resulting in painful inflammation. If you are living with rheumatoid arthritis, it means that your immune system sees your joints as a threat and subsequently decides to attack them.
Research for the causes of rheumatoid arthritis is still ongoing; however, several experts have come to believe that one’s hormones, medical history, and environment could all be contributing factors to the development of this condition. Since it develops as an autoimmune response, it is also common for the same joints to be affected on both sides of the body.
Watch this video and learn about joint “popping”
COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING ARTHRITIS
How do I know if I have arthritis?
To be entirely sure that you have arthritis, you will need to consult your doctor. However, there are some common characteristics of arthritis that you can look for: joint pain and stiffness, inflammation at joints, limited range of motion throughout affected joints, or bulkiness at joints.
What does arthritis feel like?
People with arthritis typically complain of joint pain and stiffness. The pain people describe, however, depends on their arthritic diagnosis.
Pain associated with Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid arthritis
Pain descriptors associated with osteoarthritis include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Pain deep into the joint
– Sharp radiating pain with movements – especially movements requiring force to be distributed through the joint (opening a jar/getting up from a chair)
– Pain decreases with rest
– Stiffness throughout the joint after prolonged rest
– Feeling as though the bones of the joint are catching or rubbing on each other
– swelling of the joint
Pain descriptors associated with rheumatoid arthritis include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Joint pain that occurs bilaterally – or on both sides of the body (in both hands or in both knees…)
– Significant stiffness that occurs throughout the joints in the morning and typically lasts at least one hour
– Low grade fevers may present during flare-ups
– Heat/warmth at the joint
– Pain that changes greatly in intensity – may have some days where pain is not as prevalent as others
– Muscle aches near affected joints
Should I use heat or ice to alleviate my arthritis/arthritic pain?
Trick question – both can actually be helpful! Heat will relax the muscles near the joint and aid in joint lubrication and ice will reduce inflammation surrounding the joint and decrease swelling. We recommend trying both to find what best aides you and your arthritic pain.
Where all can I get arthritis?
Arthritis may present throughout numerous joints of the body. Some common locations include the fingers, wrisits, elbows, shoulders, hips, and knees.
Why is arthritis making my knuckles grow?
As arthritis develops, the cartilage within a joint becomes more and more damaged – as a result, bone spurs start to develop where the cartilage previously was. This new bone formation often makes joints appear large and swollen.
Looking for relief? Contact us
If you have been living with arthritis, or you think you may be experiencing arthritic symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our Fort Wayne, IN physical therapy office for a consult today at (260)739-0300. We’ll help you manage your arthritic pains so you can get back to living the life you want to live!