Arthritis can sometimes serve as a bit of an umbrella term. It is used to describe over 100 different types of joint pain and joint disease experienced by millions of people. It is true that arthritis seems to favor the elderly, as it becomes more apparent in people as they age; however, it is possible for people to experience arthritis in their early middle age.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, it actually has a higher probability of affecting elite male athletes than the rest of the general public. It states that about 30 percent of elite male athletes who engage in contact sports will develop arthritis in the knees and hips, due to the wear and tear that the overexertion has on their joints. They are also more likely to be at risk for arthritis later in life.
What can I do?
A common treatment for arthritis is medication, usually for pain manageability. Your physician may prescribe NSAID pain relievers, corticosteroids, antirheumatic drugs, or antibiotics for your arthritis treatment. Medication is easy – you pop it in your mouth, chase it with water, and your pain subsides shortly afterward. However, they can also cause some unfavorable side effects, and in some cases they can be habit-forming. With NSAIDs, you run the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. With corticosteroids, you run the risk of cataracts, high blood sugar levels, and bone loss. Luckily, there is a much safer and healthier alternative to treating arthritis: physical therapy.
If you believe you may be experiencing arthritic pain, and you’re looking for relief without the harmful risk of drugs, call our office today. We’ll set you up with a physical therapist who can help you kick the meds and reduce your arthritis symptoms!
Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by a reduction in joint cartilage through the “wear and tear” one experiences with age. This process of wearing down cartilage causes bones to rub together, which leads to pain and swelling. Physical therapy can often help to reduce osteoarthritis pain without medication, especially if it is diagnosed as mild-to-moderate.
Inflammatory Arthritis: Also referred to as Rheumatoid Arthritis, this occurs when the body’s immune system attacks joint tissues with intense inflammation. Inflammatory arthritis often has a genetic cause, and doctors usually treat it aggressively with drugs. However, depending on the severity of symptoms, physical therapy may be recommended for treatment as well.
Metabolic Arthritis: The most common type of metabolic arthritis is gout, a condition caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the extremities, especially in the feet. This is typically a result of reduced kidney function. Physical therapy can help gout patients restore range of motion in the affected area, and it can even reduce the buildup of acidic crystals that accumulate in the joints.
A physical therapist’s main goal when treating arthritis is reducing stress on the joints, increasing strength, and preserving range of motion. Some benefits to working with a physical therapist include:
Weight control. Your physical therapist will work with you to control your weight through exercise and diet. Controlling your weight helps to prevent added stress on weight-bearing joints.
Proper posture. Posture work will help to reduce stress on your joints.
Stretching/exercise. Light exercises and stretching will help to increase range of motion in the affected areas.
Rest. Your therapist will also recommend a schedule for rest and sleep to complement your exercises. This helps the body to heal and will hopefully reduce your amount of arthritic inflammation and pain.
Every treatment regimen is different based on your body’s needs and your particular type of arthritis. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Ashesh Vyas of Active Kare Physical Therapy in Sterling Heights, MI, by clicking here.
Arthritis is a joint disorder, which features inflammation, pain, and stiffness. There is also often a loss in movement with arthritis, as the joints are too inflamed to move. If two or three joints are involved it’s referred to as oligoarthritis. Today, there are over 100 types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs due to wear and tear of the cartilage and rheumatoid arthritis results from an overactive immune system. Arthritis is the most common chronic illness in the nation. Many people cannot work due to arthritis and have to go on disability. And it affects men, women, and children. Arthritic pain can impede one’s mobility and quality of life. If you suffer from arthritic pain be sure to call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ashesh Vyas at ActiveKare Physical Therapy in Sterling Heights, MI.
Your doctor will examine your joints for deformity and inflammation, look for signs of disease and review your history of symptoms. Blood tests, urine tests, x-rays or joint fluid tests may be ordered. Early diagnosis can prevent disability and irreversible damage. Exercise routines, medications, rest and physical therapy may be recommended. A physical therapist can provide properly guided exercise regimens. It’s important that you do the proper, safe exercises to avoid injury.
Physical therapy is all about engaging in physical activity and exercise. “Physical activity is essential to optimizing both physical and mental health and can play a vital role in the management of arthritis. Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain. Exercise also helps to enhance energy and stamina by decreasing fatigue and improving sleep. Exercise can enhance weight loss and promote long-term weight management in those with arthritis who are overweight.”
Arthritis pain can be miserable and debilitating for those who suffer from it, and unfortunately, there is no cure for it. A physical therapist will custom tailor a therapeutic exercise program to help mobility and strength. A physical therapist will create a treatment program that addresses all areas of the body. For example, if you suffer from arthritis pain in the knee an exercise program will address the lower back, hip and ankle, in addition to the knee. That’s because all of these areas contribute to proper knee control and mechanics. Carrying objects, lifting and squatting may also be a part of the treatment plan.
Physical therapy also consists of manual therapy. It has been proven that joint and soft tissue mobilization help patients suffering from arthritis pain. Deep tissue massage, TENS, ice packs and heat therapy may also be part of the treatment plan by a physical therapist. All of these treatments are passive modalities that increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, reduce pain and enhance mobility. All around, physical therapy is an effective, noninvasive method for arthritis pain. Plus, you won’t have to rely on those pain meds, which can lead to addiction.
If you’re suffering from arthritis pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our certified physical therapists. Our research-driven treatments will help you get fast pain relief. Get your life back on track with treatment from our physical therapists. Contact ustoday!
You’ve probably heard of people with arthritis turning to steroid injections, antirheumatic drugs and joint replacement surgery to cope with pain. And in some cases, these more aggressive treatments may help patients with severe arthritis. For our patients at ActiveKare Physical Therapy, we utilize proven techniques for natural treatments to present better solutions.
Physical therapy isn’t just about doing specialized exercises. Manual therapy is the hands-on component of PT. These treatments not only gives arthritic patients much-needed pampering, but they also ease discomfort. Manual pain relief treatment often forms a significant portion of a physical therapy session for arthritis. Massage, heat and cold applications and even specialized machines all play a part in easing aching joints.
Your physical therapist can alternate heating pads and ice packs to naturally relieve pain. Ultrasound machines brings soothing heat deeper into affected joints. Targeted massage boosts circulation and creates a soothing, warming sensation for inflammed areas.
Building Range of Motion
For people with arthritis, stiff joints are painful joints. If you try to push the joint further than it can move, the resulting sensation ranges from a nagging twinge to sheer agony. That’s why increasing flexibility through physical therapy is yet another way to promote natural pain relief.
Range of motion work usually involves both flexibility and strength moves. The flexibility exercises gradually allow your joints to become more limber. Resistance exercises strengthen the muscles that support those joints. In this way, your complete physical therapy session will allow you to achieve greater freedom of movement. You’ll also have less discomfort.
Isolating Painful Joints
Sometimes, rest is the best cure for arthritic joints. Yet it’s impractical for most people to take long rest cures in bed. In fact, too much inactivity can actually worsen the problem by weakening surrounding muscles.
Instead, your physical therapist can help to isolate a painful joint. Bracing provides natural pain relief for your arthritic condition. A specialized neck collar, a wrist splint — wherever your arthritic pain may be, specialized support for that joint is possible. This type of bracing is another aspect of natural pain relief for arthritis.
Finding New Ways to Move
It’s not always simple to anticipate the actions that bring on arthritic twinges and sharp pains. Simply turning a corner while walking can cause your arthritic shoulder to tense and twist in a way that you never even noticed before — that is until a jolt of pain shoots through you! That’s why learning new ways to move can help you avoid some of those unwelcome sensations over the course of a day.
During physical therapy, patients with arthritis learn which motions lead to discomfort. Then, the physical therapist demonstrates new joint protection techniques. They can be as simple as using a purse with a particular kind of strap to take pressure off your wrists. Exiting the car or entering a bathtub differently are also common techniques.
If you have arthritic fingers, a physical therapist can demonstrate how to carry objects with your palms instead of grasping them. Laying objects across the arms instead of carrying them in your hands is another common technique. Physical therapy can also “hook you up” with the latest tools — gadgets that make day-to-day tasks much less challenging.
Of course, each patient is different when it comes to the best type of physical therapy and related natural treatments for arthritis. Much depends on the location and severity of your condition. Contact ActiveKare PT today to learn more! A physical therapist on our team can give you a careful assessment, that will determine the best methods to provide you with natural pain relief.
If you are like the one in four American adults who suffer from arthritis symptoms, you are looking for options for managing the day to day aches and pains and often debilitating loss of mobility. Fortunately, there are many things you can do that, when combined with physical therapy, can improve your strength, increase your flexibility and help you manage your arthritis symptoms. While these tips are helpful, they work best when paired with professional treatment, call us today to learn how we can help you live pain-free!
Since many arthritis symptoms are exacerbated by obesity, weight loss is one of the most effective ways to manage those symptoms without medication. Fortunately, physical therapists are adept at creating weight loss or weight maintenance programs that take pressure off of your joints and increase blood flow for nutrient delivery throughout your entire body.
Time for New Shoes
Many people overlook the effects of footwear on arthritis of the knee. Whether it is special purchasing special footwear or adding insoles or orthotics into your existing shoes, this simple fix can help immediately relieve the pressure on the weight-bearing joints of your lower body. As an added bonus, the correct footwear makes it easier to walk or exercise without pain.
Hot & Cold, Hot & Cold
When it comes to arthritis, temperature matters. Many people discover that a warm bath or heat pack helps ease arthritis aches and pains. Others find that cold packs applied on a regular basis reduce swelling in the joints and relieve discomfort. Alternating between the two has been shown to provide the soothing comfort of heat with the anti-inflammatory properties of cold. However, it is important to consult with a medical professional about the proper procedures for applying both heat and cold in order to avoid skin irritation.
As tempting as it is to “rest” when you are uncomfortable, there is nothing better for managing arthritis than exercising on a regular basis. However, many people are reluctant to begin an exercise program with arthritis for fear of injuring themselves. Physical therapy can not only help you discover the exercise program that is right for your condition, it can provide you with a long-term solution to your arthritis symptoms. Your physical therapist will show you proper technique, a variety of exercises and how to wear appropriate accessories like braces or wraps if necessary.
You have more options than ever for the day to day aches and pains of arthritis in the current generation of medicine. When combined with professionally monitored physical therapy, you can use all of the following tips to relieve the symptoms of arthritis while improving the strength and the mobility of your muscles.
A Program of Weight Loss
In many cases, arthritis is either caused or exacerbated by the condition of obesity. Your physical therapy will certainly include a program of weight loss or maintenance so that you can take the pressure off of your joints and free up the flow of blood and nutrients to your entire body.
Changing Your Footwear
It is especially important to note your footwear if you have arthritis of the knee. Your medical professional should be able to suggest special footwear or insoles that will help to relieve the immediate pressure of arthritis on your lower body weight bearing joints and improve your walking at the same time.
One of the most important suggestions to consider if it is given is a knee brace. Osteoarthritis that occurs with knee instability is one of the more debilitating and aggravating conditions that can be caused by the arthritis condition. You will also reduce your risk of further injury by falling if you correct your walking patterns with a knee brace.
Using Heat and Cold to Your Advantage
There are many ways to use variable temperatures to your advantage when it comes to arthritis. Something as simple as a warm bath or the use of a heat pack will give you relief of arthritis pain over time; however, other people may find that relief from cold packs. You may be able to reduce your pain even more by alternating the two. Your medical professional will be able to properly guide you through the trial and error to give you the solution that is best for you.
Nothing is better for an arthritis program than to change your life by exercising on a consistent basis. Overall, any physical therapy program is meant to change your lifestyle, not provide a short term solution. Your physical therapist will be able to help you with the technique of exercising, but it is up to you to do those exercises every day once you have been taught.
An exercise program that is properly implemented will help you to reduce the pain of arthritis while improving your muscular strength, helping to reduce the instance of arthritis in the future.
A Strong Self Management Program
Your professional therapy program will equip you with ongoing techniques and new habits that you should put to work for yourself in your every day life. However, you must keep your eyes open and listen for the techniques that work for you. Take physical notes during the process.
Do not let arthritis stop you from enjoying life. We can help you develop a plan that you can take on consistently. You will be able to reduce your day to day pain and develop habits that will improve your body overall, not just relieve symptoms. Please call ActiveKare Physical Therapy as soon as you can so that we can get started on your program. We have answers for you; all that we really need is your permission to get started!