Have you been diagnosed with osteoarthritis? Are you having joint pain in your knee, hip, shoulder or other joint? If so, you probably want to know how to relieve your joint pain and slow down the disease’s progression. If the pain is limiting your activities, a physical therapist can help. The goals of physical therapy for arthritis include 1) improving the mobility and restoring the use of affected joints, 2) increasing strength to support the joints, and 3) maintaining fitness and the ability to perform daily activities. A skilled physical therapist can teach you how to do the following…
Maintain or Increase Joint Range of Motion
Range-of-motion exercises (also called stretching or flexibility exercises) help maintain normal joint function by increasing and preserving joint mobility and flexibility. A doctor or physical therapist can provide you with instructions on how to perform range-of-motion exercises for example, getting an arthritic knee to bend just 10% more may allow you to comfortably get in and out of a low chair.
Strengthen the Muscles That Support an Arthritic Joint
Strengthening exercises. These exercises help maintain and improve muscle strength. Strong muscles can support and protect joints that are affected by arthritis.Exercise doesn’t have to be hard to be beneficial. In fact, gentle, low-impact exercises are best for helping arthritis. They minimize stress on the joint as they increase its flexibility and strength. Strength training by your physical therapist can crush arthritis pain.
When the “core” muscles around your trunk are strong, they prevent chronic pain, but they also keep you from losing your balance and falling down. A stronger core will help to keep you upright — especially as you age and start to become more at risk of falling. Individuals with osteoarthritis often have impaired balance resulting from muscle weakness, decreased joint function, and decreased mobility.
Posture, both good and bad, absolutely can have an impact on osteoarthritis. How does bad posture affect osteoarthritis? Chronic bad posture places abnormal chronic stresses on your body. These stresses make it harder for your muscles to take the pressure off your joints-and your joints end up paying the price. Your physical therapist can educate you about ways to adjust your posture and put less stress on joints as you sit, stand and walk.
Use Assistive Devices
If you have arthritis, self-help devices can make tasks easier on your joints and more efficient for you. These products, which range from simple to elaborate, help keep joints in the best position for functioning, provide leverage when needed, and extend your range of motion. Walkers, canes, crutches, splints and shoe inserts may be recommended to help take pressure off certain arthritic joints depending on the severity of the condition. A skilled physical therapist can teach you how to properly fit and use certain assistive devices.
Tristate Arthritis Has On Site Physical Therapy
Tristate Arthritis and Rheumatology is one of the few rheumatology practices offering on site physical therapy. This unique set up offers our patients with advanced arthritis and other chronic musculoskeletal conditions to work with both the therapist and doctor to tailor therapy individually for the optimal benefit of each patient.
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When visiting the physical therapist, think clearly about what your complaint is and what you would like to be able to do after physical therapy. Your goal can be getting in and out of your car without pain, raising up on your toes or raising your arms to reach items in your kitchen cabinets, taking a walk or performing your job without pain in the hips, knees, and feet. Your therapist can then work with you to develop a plan that is right for you to achieve your goals.
For persistent pain that is interfering with your daily activities, see a rheumatologist to make the correct diagnosis and begin the proper treatment.
Contact Us (859-331-3100) For More Information to Request an Appointment
Tristate Arthritis and Rheumatology is first and largest Rheumatology practice in the Northern Kentucky area. Founded by Dr. Arthur Kunath in 1986, our rheumatology practice now consists of six doctors who are board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and a Physician Assistant. Patients see one doctor (except in emergencies), thereby assuring continuity of care and an individualized doctor-patient atmosphere giving the physician the ability to establish personalized and detailed relationships. Our doctors have received numerous awards, including being listed as “Top Doctors” in Cincinnati Magazine, receiving the Patient’s Choice Award, the Most Compassionate Doctor Award, and the American College of Rheumatology’s “My Doc Rocks” award.
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