Physical Therapy and Arthritis

Good physical therapists along with quality physical therapy equipment can help patients who suffer from arthritis reduce pain and increase their flexibility too.  Unfortunately there is no cure for arthritis. The purpose of treatment is to manage the disease and help people lead a productive life. Often, a doctor along with a physical therapist work together to come up with a plan that is specific to your needs. They try and implement strategies that will realistically work for you.

The patient’s joints and their condition determine the treatment. The therapist will take into account the amount of deformity, strength, and flexibility the patient exhibits. While physical therapy can indeed be hard work for the patient, most improve their condition because of therapy. Exercise is a key component of arthritis physical therapy. First, the therapist must take into account the physical limitation of the patient. Typically, exercise is a gradual process when dealing with arthritis.

The physical therapist must always work to protect the afflicted join from further injury. This means the therapist must implement a delicate balance of reducing stress to the joint while trying to strengthen the arthritic joint. This takes patience and means increasing resistance exercises slowly. The therapist will teach the patient proper form when exercising and is vital to avoid injury. The patient must concentrate while exercising and maintain good posture while working out.  

Hot and cold therapy will be used to lessen the pain associated with arthritis. This ailment causes pain, limited motion range, and can even cause physical deformity in some cases. However, there are assistive devices that people who have arthritis can use to compensate for lost range of motion. It is also important for arthritis sufferers to conserve energy, because fatigue can mean increased stiffness and pain in arthritic joints. The physical therapist can teach you to know when you are reaching your endurance limit. Pacing activities is the best way to go.

Arthritis patients can benefit from physical therapy equipment and a well-trained therapist. The therapist will walk a fine line between protecting arthritic joints and increasing exercise resistance. Often times a doctor and physical therapist will work together to come up with a realistic plan designed to reduce arthritis pain, increase flexibility, and strengthen arthritic joints. The patient will learn to know when they are reaching their endurance limits, and will also learn that pacing themselves is the best way to live their lives.


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