Pain Relief for Arthritis
The two types of arthritis that typically result in arthritic pain are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is common for those over age 60, but it can also be the result of injury, poor mechanics and overuse. This type of arthritis is characterized by a breakdown of cartilage which surrounds joints. It is cartilage that is responsible for distributing forces and lubricating joints. When you don’t have enough of it, the bones rub together and cause pain. Bone fragments can also break off and bone spurs can grow. The spine, knees, hips and hands are the common sites for osteoarthritis. In addition to pain, there’s a decrease in flexibility, and an increase in stiffness and tenderness.
Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body attacks itself; it’s an autoimmune disease. The lining of the joints gradually becomes inflamed. Symptoms include stiffness, tenderness, inflammation, swelling and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is often found in the feet, wrists and hands. However, if it isn’t properly treated, it can spread to other areas like the knees and hips. Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include fever, weight loss, decreased appetite and continual exhaustion. Physical therapy can help both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical Therapy for Arthritis Pain: Active Modalities
While there’s no cure for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, physical therapy can help you manage the symptoms of these afflictions. As a matter of fact, research has shown that physical therapy benefits patients in the short term and long term. Physical therapy consists of both active and passive modalities for treatment. Your physical therapist will do a full assessment of your condition, review goals with you and develop a specific treatment plan to meet your individual needs. A tailored therapeutic exercise program helps with mobility, strength and pain. There may even be high-intensity exercises. If you suffer from hip pain, an exercise plan will address all impairments surrounding the hip that may be contributing to control, mechanics and mobility. You learn how to lift, squat and carry objects with less pain. All around, daily functional tasks are much easier. There’s also manual therapy techniques for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For example, soft tissue mobilization is very effective for those who suffer from arthritis pain.
Physical Therapy for Arthritis Pain: Passive Modalities
The passive modalities in physical therapy to treat pain from arthritis are:
- Deep Tissue Laser Therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Electrical stimulation
- Superficial heat
- Cryotherapy or ice packs
Laser Therapy is a non-invasive, safe, and effective treatment modality where light is used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing and soft tissue repair Our laser is a deep tissue laser that can put an end to your pain fast. The laser is placed in contact with the skin allowing the healing energy to penetrate tissue, where it interacts with various intracellular bio-molecules resulting in the restoration of normal cell function. This also enhances the body’s natural healing processes. In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy. You may not have to rely on those pain meds anymore. The result; normal cell functions are restored. The process results in a disappearance of symptoms and increases the speed at which your body heals.
TENS can greatly help reduce pain from arthritis. Electrodes are places to trick the brain into feeling no pain. Electrical stimulation reduces pain, muscle spasm, inflammation and soft tissue edema. Ultrasound is a deep heating modality that helps the tissues of deep joints. It helps with inflammation, pain and improves connective tissue. Superficial heat goes deep into the tissues and reduces swelling and inflammation. Cryotherapy or ice packs are also effective for arthritic pain. It’s helpful for swelling, pain and reducing local metabolism. Often, these passive physical therapy treatments are an adjunct to active physical therapy treatments. All around, physical therapy is a holistic approach to treating arthritis.
No one wants to live in pain. It limits your activities, and it just plain hurts. Take action. Are you suffering from arthritis pain? Don’t wait a minute longer. Give us a call today to schedule a one-on-one consultation and comprehensive assessment of your condition. Let our certified and skilled physical therapists help you reduce pain from your arthritis and live a better lifestyle. We’re committed to your wellness. Our Physical Therapists have helped many others who suffer from arthritis and can help you too.For more information, Contact Us at Chicago, IL Center.
Because arthritis is a catch-all term, pinpointing what causes arthritis may be difficult. In most cases, arthritis is caused by overuse, wear and tear, or injuries. It is also possible for arthritis to be caused by infections, such as Lyme disease, an immune system dysfunction, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or an abnormal metabolism, which can lead to gout.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, containing monoarthritis (where only one joint is affected) and oligoarthritis (where multiple joints are affected). Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which develops from “wear and tear” of cartilage, and rheumatoid arthritis, which develops from overactive immune systems.
Targeted exercises can help ease your arthritic pains. It is possible to maintain an active lifestyle while living with arthritis, but you may need some assistance. Your physical therapist will conduct a physical evaluation to determine what the best course of treatment will be for you. Your physical therapist will then guide you through prescribed gentle exercises that become more intensive as you progress in your treatments, in order to help you achieve your highest levels of physical capability.
Regardless of the cause of arthritis, physical therapy plays a major role in the treatment of its symptoms. Physical therapy should always be the first method of treatment, before resorting to more aggressive procedures, such as surgery. In fact, in many cases, physical therapy can even eliminate the need for risky treatment methods altogether, such as harmful pain-management drugs or invasive surgical correction. If the condition is severe and surgery is required, physical therapy can also help you prepare and recover from your procedure