Are you suffering from aches, pains, and stiffness of arthritis? If so, you’re not alone. There are millions of people who live with arthritis, and it is no secret that it can limit your life. Fortunately, participating in regular physical therapy treatments can help manage your arthritis pain and reduce your symptoms. For more information on how our services can decrease or even eliminate your pain altogether, contact StepUp Physical Therapy today!
What will I get out of a physical therapy program?
Physical therapy can improve your daily life by making it easier to live with arthritis. Just a few of the many ways this is accomplished is by:
- Learning how to correctly use devices. A trained physical therapist can help you learn how to use orthotics, walkers, and any other assistive device correctly. This will help lessen the strain on joints when you move and ensure that you are using the devices safely.
- Increasing your range of motion. A physical therapy program can help reduce stiffness by keeping both your muscles and ligaments loose. This will lessen your pain and improve your overall range of mobility.
- Strengthening your muscles. When the muscles that surround and support your aching joints are stronger and more flexible, your arthritis pain will be much less severe. Physical therapy techniques can be used to increase strength, which in turn will relieve pain.
What exactly is physical therapy?
Unfortunately, there is not yet a known cure for arthritis. Physical therapy won’t reverse your arthritic condition, but it can help slow the process and decrease symptoms. Essentially, physical therapy can help you live more comfortably with your condition.
Your physical therapist will prescribe targeted exercises and stretches that will keep joints mobile and pain-free. He or she may also help you maintain a healthy body weight as needed, in order to decrease unnecessary strain on your joints.
Physical therapy may also help you avoid taking excessive amounts of medication in order to reduce your pain. A physical therapist is trained to evaluate your condition and provide the correct exercises to meet your needs. A common physical therapy exercise for arthritis patients is aquatic therapy, as working out in water allows for a soothing and non-impact exercise.
How can diet affect my arthritis?
Did you know that a healthy diet can help decrease arthritis pains? When you are experiencing pain and inflammation, it is important to stay away from foods containing high levels of sugar, MSG, and refined carbs. Some foods that can help ease your symptoms include:
- Ginger. Ginger may be able to help reduce inflammation and alleviate arthritis pain. It also adds incredible flavor to almost any food, including soups, fruits, veggies, and meat.
- Soy. Soy is high in protein and low in fat, and it is also a great tasting way to fight inflammation. You can get your soy through tofu, soy milk, or roasted soybeans.
- Broccoli. Broccoli has an ingredient called sulforaphane, which has the ability to slow down or even prevent osteoarthritis. Broccoli is great served hot or cold, in salads, or as a casserole.
- Walnuts. Much like the nutrients you find in fish, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation. Walnuts can be eaten alone or added to almost any sweet or salty dish.
The goals of a physical therapist:
Physical therapists are trained in multiple different methods of treatment. One of the most common treatment methods for arthritis is massage, as it is a great way to loosen up the stiff or inflamed muscles and tendons around the arthritic joint(s). Additional treatments may include ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or laser therapy as your physical therapist deems fit. These all help in decreasing inflammation, relieving pain, and loosening up tight muscles.
One of the many goals of a physical therapist is to help you achieve the most active lifestyle possible for your condition. Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the activities you love! Your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment plan for you, in order to keep your tendons, muscles, and joints working together in harmony.
Are you ready to relieve your arthritis pains? Contact StepUp Physical Therapy today to get started on your journey toward long-lasting relief!