Over 54 million people (23% of all adults in the US) have arthritis. About 24 million adults are limited in their activities as a result. Meanwhile, over 1 in 4 adults with arthritis experience severe joint pain.
If you’re struggling with your symptoms, consider managing arthritis pain with physical therapy. You could ease your pain and start taking control of your life today.
In fact, physical therapy for arthritis might ease your pain and slow the disease’s progression down.
On the fence about managing arthritis with PT? Keep reading to discover the six benefits of physical therapy for arthritis today.
After reading this guide, you can make an informed choice for your health and quality of life.
Read on to learn more!
1. Range of Motion
Arthritis causes the narrowing of a joint space, which can cause pain each time you move. If you develop muscular tightness, you might experience aching pain at rest as well.
Neglecting to use your joints can cause the surrounding tissue to tighten even more. Before that can happen, talk to your physical therapist about using range of motion exercises.
Arthritis could cause your joints to become stiff. You might struggle to bend or straighten a joint as a result. If you’ve noticed changes to your range in motion, consider physical therapy for arthritis.
Physical therapy could improve your ability to straighten and bend joints over time.
In fact, you could slowly start to recognize incremental improvements to the joint’s range of motion. These incremental improvements can make a major difference to the joint’s function. Improving your range of motion can make your overall life easier.
You might find it’s easier to function throughout the day without help as a result.
For example, perhaps you have arthritic knees that make it difficult to get in and out of chairs without help. With physical therapy for arthritis pain, you can improve the joint’s range of motion. Then, you might find it’s easier to get in and out of chairs comfortably.
Improving your overall range of motion can add more independence to your life.
You won’t have to rely on others to get in and out of bed or a sitting position. Meanwhile, you’ll also feel more comfortable each time you move a joint.
Your physical therapist can evaluate your current range of motion. Then, they’ll determine which stretches can help reduce your joint compression. Over time, these exercises can improve joint mobility without unnecessary pain.
Arthritis can cause the protective cartilage in a joint to wear away over time. You might start experiencing painful friction between a joint’s bones as a result. Strengthening the surrounding muscles that support the joint could ease the friction.
Reducing friction could ease your pain.
Talk to your physical therapist about addressing potential impairments. You can use strength training exercises to improve the stability of your joints.
Physical therapy for arthritis can help if you’ve developed weakness in the muscles surrounding your arthritic joints.
The structures that support a joint can grow weaker over time. The joint could become unstable as a result. You could experience more pain each time you move, too.
If the supporting structure grows weak, you might struggle to perform daily activities. For example, you might struggle to squat down or climb stairs.
You can start managing arthritis pain with strength exercises.
Over time, your strength will improve. You’ll have an easier time performing daily activities as a result. In addition to gaining more independence, you can ease your pain symptoms, too.
Muscle weakness, decreased mobility, and decreased joint function could impact your balance. Without balance, your risk of falling down can increase. You could severely injure yourself as a result.
If you’re concerned about maintaining your balance, consider physical therapy for arthritis.
Functional strengthening can help improve your balance over time. Your physical therapist can also develop a customized treatment plan. Their treatment plan can include:
- Walking distances
- Changes in surface and terrain
These balance components could help stimulate daily functional tasks. You can learn how to improve your balance and reduce the risk of falling. Your physical therapist can even teach you to fall safely to avoid an injury.
Maintaining good posture is essential for managing arthritis symptoms. Otherwise, you could put unnecessary stress on your arthritic joints. Talk to your physical therapist about ways you can improve your posture.
Learning how to adjust your posture can help you determine how to put less stress on your joints when you:
You can even learn how to modify your work and home environment to improve your posture. A few simple changes, such as adjusting your car seat’s position, can ease joint stress. You could make your daily routine a lot easier as a result.
5. Assistive Devices
During your next appointment, talk to your physical therapist about the assistive devices you can use. For example, they might suggest:
- Shoe inserts
These devices can put less pressure on certain joints. Your physical therapist can determine which tools are suitable for your needs.
Using these devices can reduce your risk of further impairment or injuries. You can also learn how to properly fit and use these devices based on different environments.
6. Pain Management
If you decide to seek physical therapy for arthritis, talk to your therapist about pain management. Learning proper pain management could reduce your need for surgery or other expensive treatments. In fact, physical therapy could lower patient treatment costs by 72%.
Otherwise, swelling, pain, and chronic inflammation can impact your quality of life.
You can use different modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation to improve joint function. You can start managing arthritis pain, even while you’re at home.
Ease the Pain: 6 Ways Physical Therapy for Arthritis Can Help
Don’t let arthritis pain impact your quality of life. Instead, consider these six ways physical therapy for arthritis patients can help. Visiting your local physical therapist could make all the difference in your life.
Eager to start treatment right away? We can’t wait to see you.
Discover our locations in the greater Atlanta area today to get started.