Arthritis is a medical condition that affects the joints and can interfere with your daily life, especially if the condition is left untreated. Different types of arthritis exist, and risk factors include family history, a history of joint injuries, obesity, and age.
Common arthritis symptoms are:
- Decreased range of motion
- Weight-bearing difficulties
To treat arthritis, your physician can recommend medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids, injections, surgery, physical therapy, or a combination of those. Although arthritis conditions are degenerative, targeting treatments, including physical therapy, can make a positive difference in reducing symptoms and improving physical capabilities.
A key aspect of physical therapy for arthritis is that you receive a customized plan instead of a generic or unsupervised one that may not address your specific symptoms and may even increase your symptoms.
#1 Alleviates Pain
The purpose of physical therapy is to help you regain physical capabilities to perform your everyday tasks with greater ease and comfort. Physical therapy can address stiffness and provide you with practical tips to improve the way you move and your ergonomic situation at home or work. This way, you can reduce the stress on your arthritic joints.
Educating you on good posture also plays a central role in alleviating your pain. If you sit, stand, and walk properly, your body can work more efficiently. If you need to compensate for your arthritic joints, your physical therapist can give you customized and safe posture recommendations that do not risk negatively affecting other parts of your body.
#2 Increases Range of Motion
Due to stiffness and swelling, your range of motion often decreases when you have arthritis. One of the benefits of physical therapy is how it can help restore it so you can move your joints as you used to again.
Your physical therapist can guide you through slow and controlled stretches and exercises to incrementally restore your range of motion. This can help you handle more tasks on your own, such as getting in and out of a seat or your bed.
#3 Strengthens the Muscles Supporting Your Arthritic Joint
Strong and supportive muscles can protect your joints. Your physical therapy plan can include weight training to gain muscles. Your provider can teach you specific exercises and recommend which muscle groups to work on throughout the week to make sure you get enough rest and do not risk injuries.
If you experience osteoarthritis, which can cause wear in the cartilage of a joint, building stronger muscles can make a positive difference in how you can use your joint and your pain levels.
#4 Improves Balance, Stability, and Coordination
When arthritis causes weakness and reduced joint function, you can experience a reduction in your balance, stability, and coordination. This can interfere with simple tasks such as walking or climbing stairs. Physical therapy can target those functions and with specific exercises, you can retrain your body to minimize impairments. Improve balance, stability, and coordination can be especially important to reduce your risk of falling. It can also help you perform various job duties more safely and efficiently.
#5 Creates a Solid Foundation for Your At-Home Exercise Routine
Regular physical activity supports your overall health and physical therapy can help you learn what activities are an appropriate fit for you.
Your physical therapist can recommend and demonstrate:
- Low impact exercises with or without equipment
- How to warm up to avoid injury
- How to apply heat or ice to help relax your joints and muscles before and after working out
Your medical provider typically shows you specific activities to do at home between visits and this creates a helpful foundation for your fitness routine. As your treatment plan evolves, your physical therapist can also offer additional recommendations for activities you can safely engage in.
How ProFysio Physical Therapy Can Treat Arthritis in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we offer a wide range of customized treatments to address arthritis conditions like osteoarthritis, psoriasis arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. We offer in-person visits and telehealth options to make our services more accessible.
When you first visit us, our team carefully reviews your medical history, checks any medical images you had done, and performs a physical examination. We also discuss your symptoms, including their onset, frequency, and severity. This helps us get a clear picture of your situation and tailor a care plan to your specific needs. We can also address any questions you may have about your condition and educate you on the type of arthritis you are experiencing.
Our personalized treatment plans for arthritis physical therapy can include:
- Electrical stimulation
- Graston Technique
- Low impact exercise
- Manual therapy
- Strengthening exercise
- Ultrasound treatment
You can usually expect specific treatment and activities during your in-office visits. We often demonstrate specific at-home stretches and exercises that you can do to improve and maintain your health between appointments. As you make progress, our providers can reevaluate your current treatment plan and modify it as needed.
Are you considering physical therapy as part of your arthritis treatment plan? Contact ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 to schedule an appointment in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties!