How Can Physical Therapies Be Used for Arthritis Treatment?
Are you one of the millions of Americans struggling to find effective arthritis treatment options? It can often seem as if the pain is running your life. For many, arthritis progresses to the point where managing pain has become a new normal. While some have little choice but to rely on medications, more and more people are turning to physical therapy as a natural way to restore lost movement and manage arthritis pain.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can cause pain, swelling and limited range of motion. Associated with generalized pain, stiffness, inflammation, pain with movement, muscle weakness and abnormal movement of the surrounding area as a compensation, arthritis can be a debilitating illness and severely affect quality of life. While more than 100 types of arthritis exist, a few common forms include:
- Osteoarthritis- This is the most common type of arthritis, affecting areas such as the hands, hips, knees and spine. Often associated with “wear and tear” and aging, osteoarthritis results in the gradual deterioration and loss of cartilage in the affected joint.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis- Destruction of the joint due to an autoimmune inflammatory process leads to painful inflammation, swelling, tenderness and joint stiffness. Joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis is often sporadic and tends to worsen after a period of rest. The most commonly impacted areas include the hands, wrists and feet, but can also affect the hips, knees and shoulder areas.
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis- While osteoarthritis is traditionally associated with aging, post-traumatic arthritis can affect people of all ages and is a result of trauma to the joint. For example, athletes or highly active individuals who have suffered a sports injury or accident in their early years could potentially develop post-traumatic arthritis years after the event.
Physical Therapy As Arthritis Treatment
Physical therapy has been shown to be an effective arthritis treatment option for those who deal with arthritis pain. Because there is currently no cure for arthritis, the focus of physical therapy is on disease management.
The Twin Boro Arthritis Rehabilitation program begins with a thorough evaluation to assess and determine which joints are affected, identify any strength or flexibility imbalances, analyze gait and balance, etc. Then, your therapist may use arthritis rehabilitation treatments such as heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation, in addition to hands-on manual therapies such as joint mobilization, therapeutic massage and stretching.
Movement is the key. As a common arthritis treatment, physical therapy exercises work by strengthening the joints that have been weakened by damage and inflammation. With the help of a qualified physical therapist, patients can learn how to move their joints through a range of motion, safely taking into consideration any physical limitations.
Roadblocks to Successful Arthritis Treatment
Symptoms can often be managed through a combination of arthritis treatment therapies such as physical therapy exercises and hands-on therapies, but, a new study shows that lifestyle factors could be major roadblocks for patients as they aim to achieve successful arthritis rehabilitation. The study, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, showed that obesity more than doubled the likelihood of not achieving remission in women. For men, smoking was associated with 3.5 times greater odds of not achieving remission in the first year.
While arthritis cannot be reversed, patients can take the necessary lifestyle steps for successful arthritis prevention and ease symptoms before they progress.
Arthritis Treatment at Twin Boro Physical Therapy
If you’re suffering with pain from arthritis, talk to one of our therapists about adding a customized arthritis treatment plan to your existing medication. Whether you have been suffering for years or have just started experiencing arthritis pain, we can help you manage pain, regain mobility and get back to feeling normal.
Visit one of our physical therapy clinics to learn more about our personalized physical therapy programs that can help you keep inflammation in check. With 51 locations throughout New Jersey, we make it easy to find a physical therapy clinic near you. Simply search for your closest location using your zip code.
Why Choose Twin Boro
Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey in 2013, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques is incorporated into effective evidence-based practice, we deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.
It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of mycentraljersey.com.