Whether it is a pop in the knee with every step that you take or a crack of your fingers with every attempt to open a jar, chances are that you aren’t going to realize just how much you rely on your joints to perform up to par until you are experiencing regular joint pain. Arthritis is one of the leading causes of joint pain, and this means that pain in the ankles, knees, elbows and hips can happen to just about anyone.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting more than 50 million American adults. While often attributed to something people experience with old age, arthritis can actually happen at any time of life. In fact, more than 300,000 children and infants in the United States alone are diagnosed with arthritis—something that many of these children are forced to deal with from birth, therefore leaving a lifetime of joint pain to cope with.
Physical therapy is one of the highest-rated treatments for arthritis pain. While so many people think of physical therapy as a treatment for following an injury or after a devastating health-condition like a heart attack or stroke, utilizing physical therapy for arthritis pain is both highly effective and recommended. In fact, many physical therapists work with people who struggle with arthritis pain daily.
Here are four ways that physical therapy can help relieve arthritis pain:
- Physical therapy can help to improve your range of motion. Working with a physical therapist is a great way to improve your range of motion, which supports optimal joint functionality.
- Physical therapists can target the source of joint pain. In some situations, arthritis pain may be triggered by an environmental factor. Working with a licensed and experienced physical therapist can provide you with insight into those causes of pain, and can help you make adjustments to environmental factors that may be enhancing your level of discomfort.
- Physical therapy can improve muscle strength, thereby supporting joints. Weakness in the surrounding muscles can put added stress on your joints, thereby causing your joints additional pain during even standard attempts at movement.
- Physical therapy can target pain through specialized treatments. Many physical therapists utilize additional forms of therapy including hot and cold therapy, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic care to provide optimal pain relief, and this can be incredibly helpful for arthritis pain.
Arthritis is a painful condition that can happen to anyone. While women are more likely to experience joint pain than are men, statistics show that almost two-thirds of those who suffer from arthritic joint pain are actually of working age–that means regardless of gender, those between the age of 20 and 65 are actually at the greatest risk of experiencing this type of pain. Understanding the ways to deal with this pain head on is the best approach to take. While pain medications can help to reduce the experience of arthritis pain, there is no pill that will cure the problem. This is why physical therapy is routinely referred to as among the best practices for treating arthritis joint pain.
If you are experiencing regular joint pain, then it may be time to contact your physical therapist for support. Physical therapy is highly targeted and personalized to meet the needs of each individual, and so what is recommended for one person, or even for one particular injury or source of pain, may not be recommended in another situation. The best way to ensure that your treatment is ideal for your personal needs is to consult your physical therapist.