I Have Arthritis: Can Physical Therapy Help?

I Have Arthritis: Can Physical Therapy Help?

About a quarter of American adults — roughly 54 million — suffer from arthritis, a chronic disease that causes progressive joint damage. Arthritis symptoms can be debilitating, affecting your ability to work, socialize, and perform everyday tasks.

Pain medicines may provide temporary relief for arthritis symptoms, but as the disease progresses, most people need higher doses to keep their symptoms manageable. The good news: arthritis responds very well to physical therapy (PT), improving joint function without depending on high doses of drugs.

At Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness, our team offers custom physical therapy programs to help patients at our Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey practices relieve arthritis symptoms and improve their quality of life. Here’s how our team can help you manage your arthritis.

Arthritis and your joints

Arthritis damages the protective layer of cartilage that covers the ends of the bones where they meet and create a joint. Normally, the thick layer of rubbery cartilage protects the bones and helps you move your joints smoothly. 

When the cartilage is damaged, your joints become stiff and inflamed. Over time, inflammation increases joint damage, and the cycle continues: joint damage causes inflammation, which causes more joint damage.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear-and-tear in your joints. Osteoarthritis becomes more common as you age, and it’s also more common among athletes and people who use their knees a lot for work or hobbies.

Other common types of arthritis (there are over 100 types) include:

Because arthritis is progressive (gets worse over time), it’s important to begin treatment early on to help slow joint damage and stay mobile.

Physical therapy to manage arthritis

Physical therapy focuses on exercises and activities that build strength, flexibility, and endurance. For arthritis, therapy also can help reduce inflammation by promoting better circulation and stimulating your body’s production of natural joint-lubricating fluids.

Before physical therapy begins, our team performs a physical exam and joint assessment, then talks with you about your symptoms and your concerns. Based on all this information, they’ll devise a therapy plan that’s focused on your goals.

Depending on your unique needs, your physical therapy plan could include:

Therapists also teach patients how to perform exercises and stretches at home to continue healing between office visits. Plus, they may recommend lifestyle modifications to relieve some of the strain on your sore joints. 

PT tailored to your life

Physical therapy is completely customizable, so your plan can focus on helping you get back to the activities that are most important to you. To learn how physical therapy can help you manage your arthritis, book an appointment online or over the phone with Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness today.

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