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 normally known as “wear and tear”. 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. It is normally found in many joints and on both sides of the body. 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. 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 or, “hands-on,” 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:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Electrical stimulation
- Cold Laser Therapy
- Squid Compression
- Superficial heat
- Cryotherapy or ice packs
TENS can greatly help reduce pain from arthritis. Electrodes are placed to trick the brain into feeling no pain. Electrical stimulation reduces pain, muscle spasm, inflammation and soft tissue edema. COLD LASER THERAPY is an amazing way to help the body heal itself faster. It targets your “T-cells”, the natural “healing cells” of your body. It makes them grow faster and multiply. This way you have bigger, stronger and more cells healing your body. It’s the only thing that DIRECTLY increases your cells to work better! Cold Laser helps with inflammation, pain, muscle spasms and improves connective tissue (works great for Fibromyalgia!).
SQUID COMPRESSION is designed to provide tremendous relief from muscle and joint pain.
This allows our patients to reduce dependency on pain medication, perform everyday tasks that were previously painful, and enjoy walking, running, skiing, playing tennis, golf and other activities again.
Squid revolutionizes injury recovery by combining sequential intermittent compression with cold treatment to provide maximum results. Squid drives the cold treatment deep into the tissue, reducing swelling and directing fluids away from the treated area towards the heart. Swelling is reduced, thereby improving blood flow to the injured tissue and delivering much needed nutrients and oxygen.
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. You may not have to rely on those pain meds anymore.
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. Contact Us Today at Lillington, NC Center 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. We’ve helped many others who suffer from arthritis and can help you too.