May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, a time to appreciate the impact of the collection of the joint diseases on more than 58 million American adults. Arthritis is an umbrella term that includes over 100 conditions that affect joints throughout your body.
The most common by far is osteoarthritis, a physical breakdown of joint components, usually starting with deteriorating cartilage at the joint. Arthritis causes pain and restricts movement, and while there’s no cure for osteoarthritis, treatments can control pain, restore mobility, and slow the progression of the disease.
An important part of arthritis management is physical therapy (PT). At Westside Pain Specialists, we’re experts in arthritis treatment, so we understand PT’s key role as you rise to meet the arthritis challenge. We’ve compiled this list of seven key benefits of PT when it comes to your arthritis management plan.
Physical therapy for arthritis management
Although osteoarthritis is most common, physical therapy also eases joint pain caused by other types. PT techniques like cold and hot compresses and therapeutic stretching apply to virtually any joint pain issue. Here are seven of the advantages PT can offer you.
1. Pain management
Reducing pain is perhaps the most sought result from any arthritis treatment. The idea of PT may seem like a pathway to more joint pain, but mild to moderate activity of an arthritic joint is often the most important factor in limiting pain and slowing the progression of arthritis.
The key is using the right exercises and stretches without overdoing it. PT stimulates your body’s natural healing and pain relief systems.
2. Extended mobility
Joint pain often restricts the range of motion, either for a physical reason or because you don’t want to increase the pain coming from movement. Working with a physical therapist helps you to understand the anatomy of your joints while restoring regular joint motion as much as possible.
3. Added strength
Joints and muscles work together to provide movement, and they mutually support each other. Building strength in muscles around a joint can take up some of the load that’s otherwise placed directly on the bones of a joint. This added support reduces painful bone-on-bone contact.
4. Reduced inflammation
While osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, your body still works to reduce pain and repair damage, though it can’t keep pace with joint deterioration. Physical therapy stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic systems, key players in limiting inflammation, pain, and arthritis progress.
5. Assistive devices
Working with a physical therapist provides you with access to a range of assistive devices that can help you function better within the limitations that your condition imposes.
6. Body mechanics
Pain can change the way you move. In some cases, this can aggravate joint conditions or introduce problems elsewhere. Coping with an arthritic knee could add strain on the hip, for example. PT helps you avoid mechanical changes that cause further damage.
7. Weight loss
Weight-bearing joints benefit from reduced loads. Even modest amounts of weight loss provide significant improvements in pain level and mobility of arthritic joints. PT adds movement and activity to your days, key factors in any weight management plan.
Visit us at Westside Pain Specialists to learn more about your treatment options to manage arthritis pain. Call our nearest office in Beverly Hills and Rancho Cucamonga, California, to arrange your consultation today.