Does Physical Therapy Help Arthritis of the Spine?

Does Physical Therapy Help Arthritis of the Spine?

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of the Spine

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that is caused by deterioration of the cartilage. The cartilage in the spine is a smooth tissue that is designed to protect the joints and provide the necessary lubrication in order for the joints to function normally. This condition usually occurs in individuals above the age of 45, but can happen at a younger age if the person has experienced injury or trauma to the joint of if they have a cartilage-related genetic defect. The symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain or stiffness in the back and neck area in the morning and evening
  • Swelling and warmth in the joints, especially with weather changes
  • Localized tenderness of the spine
  • Joint pain in the spine
  • Loss of flexibility of a joint
  • A pinching feeling in a nerve or of the spinal cord

Although these symptoms are common in patients with spinal osteoarthritis, it is never a good idea to self-diagnose. Proper diagnosing requires a medical examination in which you and the doctor will go over your medical history and you will undergo any necessary imaging tests. If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the spine, a physical therapist can help to reduce your symptoms and set goals that prevent the disease from progressing. The focuses of your physical therapy treatments for osteoarthritis of the spine will include:

At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we provide advanced, individualized treatments that cater individually to the needs and complications of each patient’s condition. Although each patient’s treatment plan will look a bit different, some of the best practices to help improve this condition include:

    • Neck and back exercises to build strength
    • Yoga
    • Low-impact aerobic activities
    • Resistance exercise
    • Range of motion exercises
    • Golf
    • Swimming and water therapy
  • Stretching

Stretching is one of the most powerful steps you can take for your body to treat this condition. We can create a specific treatment plan with exercises for the spine, arms, and legs based on the needs we determine from your evaluation. We recommend combining these treatments with activities outside of our practice like the ones mentioned above.

  • Symptom management

Exercises and the use of modalities such as heat or ice can certainly help your condition, but sometimes the pain prevails regardless. In these cases, we will help the patient with symptom management, which gives them the tools to move properly and comfortably. We will help you through the best ways to stay active and healthy without experiencing an increase of symptoms. We will create a treatment plan that suits your lifestyle, condition, and your individual fitness goals if applicable.

At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we offer state-of-the-art treatments for spinal pain. We will evaluate your condition and determine the proper diagnosis. We will work with you to develop a program that will allow you to reach your rehabilitation goals. No matter whether your symptoms are minor or require long-term rehabilitation, you can rest assured that your treatment will be tailored to meet your needs.

Interested in learning more about spinal rehabilitation at ProFysio Physical Therapy? Call us at (732) 812-5200 or contact us online.

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