When you have arthritis, the idea of moving your joints may seem counterintuitive, especially when you’re in pain and worried about exacerbating it when you overexert your joints. Nonetheless, it is exactly what you need to keep your joints healthy and limber.
Physical therapy helps get your joints moving in a safe and effective way. It is the closest thing there is to a miracle drug for your arthritis. Therefore, it has become one of the most highly recommended approaches to managing the condition.
US Rehabilitation can develop a plan to help with the pain and the other symptoms of arthritis.
Achieving Optimal Physical Function Through Individualized Plan
The encompassing goal of physical therapy for arthritis management is to have you progressively acquire strength so you can move more and better. US Rehabilitation can help you achieve this goal by crafting an individualized plan of care based on your unique situation and goals, on available evidence, and on clinical judgment.
Some of the treatments we use at US Rehabilitation throughout the rehabilitation process are:
- Apply hot and cold therapy to ease joint pain and stiffness
- Demonstrate how you can properly use assistive devices such as canes and walkers
- Devise an exercise program designed to improve your range of motion, strength, and balance
- Educate you on proper posture or body mechanics that help in reducing your pain or improving your function
- Recommend modifications to your environment, such as having ergonomic chairs and cushioned mats in your kitchen, among others, aimed at reducing risks that would eventually lead to exacerbating your condition
Exercise Program for Improved Range of Motion and Muscle Strength
As mentioned above, US Rehabilitation will create an exercise program geared toward improving your range of motion, strength, and balance. Here’s a better insight into how an exercise program can help you manage your arthritis pain.
Importance of Range-of-Motion Exercises
Range of motion (ROM) refers to your joint’s full movement potential. Your joints must go through their full ROM every day to remain healthy. Otherwise, the nutrient-rich and internally lubricating fluid in them cannot properly circulate and cover their surface. This gradually leads to joint stiffness, dysfunction, and deterioration—arthritis.
US Rehabilitation’s physical therapy incorporates ROM exercises, which are aimed at improving the movement of an affected joint, ultimately stimulating its healing and protecting it and its surrounding tissues from further damage. ROM exercises are beneficial for preventing complications, such as shortening of your ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Before setting up a ROM exercise therapy program, we will use a special instrument to measure your ROM, then recommend exercises applicable to the type of ROM limitation that you have.
Importance of Strength Training Exercises
Weakness in the surrounding muscles can put added stress on your affected joint, thereby causing pain even at a slight movement attempt. If you’re suffering from knee arthritis, for instance, physical therapy helps slow down the degenerative process of the knee joint by improving the stability and strength of the muscles in your thighs and calves.
Strength training is more like the final step in the progression of rehabilitative exercise intensity. Rehabilitation for arthritis is essentially about breaking your recovery down into a series of baby steps. If you have severe arthritis, US Rehabilitation will get you on the first step, which is to simply move; then comes your endurance training, which is typically just light strength training. When you’ve almost completely recovered, proper strength training acts as the final phase.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. These numbers may be underestimated, as many cases are likely never reported. US Rehabilitation’s physical therapists can assess symptoms to determine if a concussion is present and treat your injury by guiding you through a safe and personalized recovery program.
US Rehabilitation’s physical therapists are movement experts. We can improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement.