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5 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help Treat Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition affecting over 52.5 million people worldwide. It can make simple tasks seem like Herculean tasks, leaving sufferers feeling fatigued and weak. Arthritis can affect any joint throughout the body, but it most commonly involves the hands, wrists, fingers, knees, ankles, and hips. The condition causes inflammation within the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that affect people in different ways. Practicing healthy habits can reduce your risk of developing arthritis or slow its progression if you do have it. This article will discuss the different treatment options available, including physical therapy, that can significantly help manage symptoms.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes joint pain and stiffness. The condition is caused by inflammation within the joints. Several things, including genetics, aging, obesity, and certain medical conditions, can cause this inflammation. People are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis (which affects the cartilage in the joints), rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease), and gout (caused by excess uric acid). With the right physical therapy treatment at Breakthru, people can get relief from pain and can continue their daily work.

What are the Common Causes of Arthritis?

There are many different types of arthritis. While many share similar symptoms, the root causes are unique to each type of arthritis. Below are some of the most common causes of arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis caused by the breakdown of cartilage within the joints.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that cause inflammation within the joints.
  • Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid that the body cannot excrete properly.
  • Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain about the body, fatigue, and sleep problems. It affects 2% of the US adult population, totaling to about 4 million people.
  • Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that can cause pain and weakness in the joints over time.
  • Overuse syndromes are common among athletes and people who do repeated activities regularly such as carry heavy loads.

How Can Physical Therapy Help in Treating Arthritis?

Physical therapy can be very effective in treating arthritis. It is one of the most common treatments for people with arthritis. There is a wide range of treatment options available within physical therapy that can help manage the symptoms of arthritis. These can include modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. However, treatment is centered around the use of exercise and hands on manual therapy. Education on living with and managing arthritis is an essential component of physical therapy for those suffering from arthritis.

Physical therapy can help improve movement, mobility, and strength and reduce pain in the joints affected by arthritis. It can also help prevent other joints from being affected by arthritis. Ideally, physical therapy should be started as early as possible once the diagnosis of arthritis has been made. This allows the physical therapist to create an individualized treatment plan to improve the patient’s overall quality of life.

What are the 5 Types of Physical Therapy Treatments used for Treating Arthritis?

Physical therapy can help you regain movement that may have been lost due to injury or disease. Physical therapy at Breakthru focuses on assisting patients to get active and moving again. Typical physical therapy treatments for arthritis are:

  • Exercise: Exercises are an essential part of any arthritis treatment plan. It is recommended that people with arthritis perform moderate aerobic exercises three times a week. This can help improve overall health that can reduce the risk of comorbidities including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancers. Exercise can also help reduce stress and depression.
  • Manual Therapy: Manual therapy techniques can treat joint and muscle tightness and pain caused by arthritis. It can also improve overall joint mobility.
  • Progressive Strength Training: Progressive strength training can help improve overall muscle strength and reduce pain caused by arthritis. This is achieved by using appropriate resistance exercises determined by a physical therapist.
  • Ice Massage: Ice massage can treat pain and inflammation in the joints caused by arthritis. It can also help treat the pain associated with overuse syndromes in those with arthritis.
  • Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is a type of aquatic therapy that can be very helpful in treating arthritis. Swimming in warm water can help improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and improve overall well-being.

When to See a Physical Therapist for Arthritis?

It’s never too early to begin physical therapy. Ideally, you should visit the physical therapist as soon as you start experiencing symptoms of arthritis. This allows the physical therapist to create a personalized treatment plan based on your assessment. If you are experiencing pain in your joints or have noticed a restriction in movement, you should see a medical professional for a diagnosis. Early intervention can reduce or even prevent the progression of arthritis, allowing you to maintain a high quality of life for longer.

Why Choose Breakthru for Treatment for Arthritis?

You’re probably wondering what the best treatment option is and what your options for pain management are. But before you get too caught up in all that, let’s talk about why Breakthru may be the right choice for you.

At Breakthru, we believe that every person deserves better. We believe that no one should live with pain or be limited in any way because of their health. When you’re ready to take the next step and get treatment for arthritis, take it because you deserve it. Book your appointment today!

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