According to Arthritis.org, there are more than 100 types of arthritis and over 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some form of the disease. “People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America.” However, even with it being so common, arthritis is not very well understood.
Improving your quality of life
Being diagnosed with arthritis can be depressing – especially when you’re used to living an active lifestyle. Some common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in your joints. Though there is no perfect “cure” for arthritis symptoms, we can take steps to improve our quality of life. In some cases, we can even slow down the rate of degeneration in our joints.
The key to controlling these factors is a treatment plan that includes options like physical therapy.
Physical therapy can help arthritis sufferers maintain mobility and assist in strengthening the affected joints. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology recommends physical therapy in combination with supervised exercise to manage knee or hip osteoarthritis. Working with your physical therapist to address your arthritis symptoms can help you:
- Stay mobile and active
- Perform your daily activities with less pain or stiffness
- Maintain or increase your range of motion
- Strengthen the muscles that support an arthritic joint
- Remove stress from the joint
- Help you learn the correct movement patterns to decrease pressure on affected joints
- Determine ways to alter your environment so that you can perform day-to-day tasks and sleep soundly at night
In addition to physical therapy, occupational therapy can also help. Occupational therapists focus on goals such as getting you out of bed and performing daily tasks without pain or further damage to joints.
Taking the first steps
To learn more about how physical therapy or occupational therapy can help you better manage your arthritis, you can reach out to one of our highly-trained clinicians by requesting an appointment. We offer free screenings that could help your therapist determine if a physical or occupational therapy treatment plan could help you live a healthier, more active life.
To learn more about arthritis, check out this comprehensive guide called “Arthritis By The Numbers,” created by the Arthritis Foundation.
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This post was written by SPT Admin