You’ve probably heard of people with arthritis turning to steroid injections, antirheumatic drugs and joint replacement surgery to cope with pain. And in some cases, these more aggressive treatments may help patients with severe arthritis. But for many patients, physical therapy and related natural treatments present better solutions. Call Advantage Therapy today to find out about your options.
Physical therapy isn’t just about doing specialized exercises. Manual therapy is the hands-on component of PT. These treatments not only gives arthritic patients much-needed pampering, but they also ease discomfort. Manual pain relief treatment often forms a significant portion of a physical therapy session for arthritis. Massage, heat and cold applications and even specialized machines all play a part in easing aching joints.
Your physical therapist can alternate heating pads and ice packs to naturally relieve pain. Ultrasound machines bring soothing heat deeper into affected joints. Targeted massage boosts circulation and creates a soothing, warming sensation for arthritic areas.
Building Range of Motion
For people with arthritis, stiff joints are painful joints. If you try to push the joint further than it can move, the resulting sensation ranges from a nagging twinge to sheer agony. That’s why increasing flexibility through physical therapy is yet another way to promote natural pain relief.
Range of motion work usually involves both flexibility and strength moves. The flexibility exercises gradually allow your joints to become more limber. Resistance exercises strengthen the muscles that support those joints. In this way, your complete physical therapy session will allow you to achieve greater freedom of movement. You’ll also have less discomfort.
Isolating Painful Joints
Sometimes, rest is the best cure for arthritic joints. Yet it’s impractical for most people to take long rest cures in bed. In fact, too much inactivity can actually worsen the problem by weakening surrounding muscles.
Instead, your physical therapist can help to isolate a painful joint. Bracing provides natural pain relief for your arthritic condition. A specialized neck collar, a wrist splint — wherever your arthritic pain may be, specialized support for that joint is possible. This type of bracing is another aspect of natural pain relief for arthritis.
Finding New Ways to Move
It’s not always simple to anticipate the actions that bring on arthritic twinges and sharp pains. Simply turning a corner while walking can cause your arthritic shoulder to tense and twist in a way that you never even noticed before — that is until a jolt of pain shoots through you! That’s why learning new ways to move can help you avoid some of those unwelcome sensations over the course of a day.
During physical therapy, patients with arthritis learn which motions lead to discomfort. Then, the physical therapist demonstrates new joint protection techniques. They can be as simple as using a purse with a particular kind of strap to take pressure off your wrists. Exiting the car or entering a bathtub differently are also common techniques.
If you have arthritic fingers, a physical therapist can demonstrate how to carry objects with your palms instead of grasping them. Laying objects across the arms instead of carrying them in your hands is another common technique. Physical therapy can also “hook you up” with the latest tools — gadgets that make day-to-day tasks much less challenging.
Of course, each patient is different when it comes to the best type of physical therapy and related natural treatments for arthritis. Much depends on the location and severity of your condition. Contact our Springfield offices today to learn more. A physical therapist on our team of physical therapists can give you a careful assessment. This evaluation determines the best methods to provide you with natural pain relief.