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Can Physical Therapy Help with Arthritis?

Physical therapy session

Physical Therapy is a great option for seniors or others looking to improve their strength and mobility. While Physical Therapy is most often a resource for those recovering from an accident, it can also be a way to treat and prevent arthritis and other conditions that may one day limit your mobility. While there is no cure for arthritis, consistent treatment will help to loosen your muscles, gain flexibility, and can help to alleviate pain. One of the biggest contributors to arthritis is inactivity, and physical therapy will help to combat that.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that is known to cause swelling and tenderness of joints, causing pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. While there are dozens of types of arthritis, the most common forms are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid. Arthritis can affect all ages but is most prevalent in older adults.

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Strengthen Your Muscles

Surrounding your joints are muscles; and when these muscles weaken and are no longer able to stabilize your joints, this can increase the severity of your arthritis and cause significant pain. Working to strengthen your muscles will help to alleviate pain by increasing the amount of support your joints have, and therefore lessening the amount of stress put on them. Activities from Physical Therapy will help to support muscle growth, and regain strength.

Increases Your Range of Motion

Physical therapy aims to work on flexibility with exercises and stretches to help increase range of motion. Working on techniques that are required for daily tasks, such as bending down, sitting, standing, reaching and more, will help to make these motions easier and less painful.

Improves Balance and Posture

Oftentimes, individuals suffering from arthritis start to lose their balance from decreased mobility and weakened muscles as a result of limiting movement due to pain. Balance is extremely important, especially for older individuals who are at high risk for falls. Physical Therapists will also help work on correcting posture and other ways to relieve pressure from arthritic joints. Slight modifications to how you sit, stand, walk, and more can have significant improvement on the amount of stress you are unknowingly putting on your body.

Using Assistive Devices Correctly

The use of assisted devices such as walkers and canes can have a significant impact on mobility and relief of painful joints when used correctly. PT can help to train individuals with arthritis on how to use their assistive devices properly to achieve the most benefit from them.

Find Out If Physical Therapy is Right for You!

At Shaker Place, our rehabilitation services include physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, speech therapy and more. Our team members are committed to helping our residents improve their physical and mental wellbeing and will work to achieve their goals! Visit our website to learn more about our Physical Therapy services!