Is Physical Therapy Right For Treating Your Arthritis?

Health & Medical Blog

If you suffer from arthritis, your doctor will recommend a number of treatments to alleviate symptoms. One possible recommendation is physical therapy. Since arthritis is considered a progressive disease, you might not see the benefit of going to therapy, but it is worth it. If you have been referred to physical therapy services, here is what you need to know.  

Why Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy services does not have the ability to reverse the damage that has been done to your joints by arthritis, but it can still be useful in managing your symptoms. The goal of physical therapy is to help restore some mobility and flexibility to your joints. It also helps to strengthen your body. As a result, the pain you feel from arthritis is not as intense.  

Arthritis works by causing inflammation and stiffness in your joints.  Both can lead to a decreased range of motion and stiffness, which can prevent you from performing daily living activities. Without exercising those joints, your symptoms will only get worse. The changes to your joints can become permanent.  

In physical therapy, you will learn effective techniques that will help to keep you mobile. If started early enough, you could even avoid the need for a joint replacement. You also will receive education on how to deal with the effects of arthritis daily. When used in combination with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, you could potentially lead a normal life.  

What Techniques Are Used?

There are a number of techniques that you will learn during physical therapy, including exercises. During your initial consultation with a physical therapist, you will be evaluated to determine which exercises are right for you. The physical therapist will also determine how often you need to attend therapy. He or she might recommend several sessions throughout the week in the early stages of treatment.  

In addition to learning exercise techniques, you can learn more about the importance of hot and cold therapy. The therapist will educate you on when both therapies can be most effective and when they should be applied.  

A therapist can also evaluate you to determine if additional supports are needed at home. For instance, if you are experiencing pain in your neck, he or she might recommend the use of supports while you are sleeping to keep your spine aligned and alleviate pain.  

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you are having about physical therapy. He or she can answer those concerns and get you started on the path to being healthier. 


21 December 2016

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