Why You Should Include Physical Therapy in Your Arthritis Treatment Plan

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Why You Should Include Physical Therapy in Your Arthritis Treatment Plan

Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis pain. More than one-third of the general population lives with this debilitating condition. If you or someone you know counts yourself among these joint pain sufferers, you are all too aware that some days, the pain is so bad it prevents you from doing the simplest tasks.

 You want the pain to go away. You don’t want to move around because you think that movement will only ratchet up the pain. It may seem counter initiative, but keeping active is vital, says Caryn McAllister, PT, DPT, and the team of movement experts at High Quality Home Therapy. This blog shares our insights on arthritis treatment and how physical therapy can help.


Arthritis and the importance of being active

Let’s jump-start this topic by first explaining what arthritis is so that you can better understand the importance of staying active. The word arthritis comes from the Greek word arthron, meaning joint, and the suffix “itis, meaning disease or inflammation.

Although the name aptly defines this debilitating joint condition, arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, referred to as degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis. 

If you suffer from arthritis, you know that the stiffness and pain often start when you get out of bed. The pain can stop you in your tracks and risk your temptation of giving in to the pain and being inactive. Why?

Research shows that joint pain is more common among adults with arthritis who are physically inactive than those who are physically active. Physical inactivity, arthritis, and severe joint pain can limit simple daily activities like lifting and carrying a grocery bag, holding a cup, or walking to your car.

Physical therapy complements an arthritis treatment plan

While there’s no cure for arthritis, managing the pain and warding off arthritis-related disability are essential goals for treating arthritis. That’s where physical therapy comes in. Although pain medication is often part of an arthritis treatment plan, adding physical therapy enhances the outcome.

Physical therapy focuses on targeted, strategic exercises that strengthen, heal, and enhance your overall health and quality of life. In the context of arthritis and joint issues, our skilled physical therapists design personalized menus of joint-friendly mobility exercises to improve symptoms and make it easier for patients to perform everyday tasks and movements.

Stabilize joints

One of the benefits of physical therapy for arthritis treatment is its ability to stabilize weakened joints. It works by strengthening muscles around a joint. Those muscles, in turn, provide enhanced support to the joint.  

Increase range of motion

Arthritis stiffness and pain can do a number on reducing range of motion, but targeted exercises can help you safely regain movement quality. Once the weakened joint becomes more stable, you can do everyday tasks like getting dressed or doing household chores because you gain more range of motion.

 Reduce pain and inflammation

Another big plus for including physical therapy in your arthritis treatment plan is that the benefits tend to build up and layer. So, while you’re strengthening muscles, stabilizing joints, and increasing your range of motion, you’re also learning about body mechanics and proper balance. This scenario helps relieve pain and inflammation.

 Improve balance and boost confidence

One of the biggest obstacles that prevent arthritis patients from participating fully in life is fear. Fear that they’ll fall or be in a public situation and be unable to function like they once did. But when you stick with a physical therapy program, whether you do the exercises in-office or at home, you get all the physical benefits and feel more confident and capable.  

If you’re suffering from arthritis pain and want to learn more about physical therapy, call High Quality Home Therapy in Stamford, Connecticut, today or use our online tool to schedule an appointment.