How Physical Therapy for Arthritis Works

Getting older is something just about everyone dreads, and that no one can avoid. One of the most universal parts of this experience is arthritis; broadly speaking, disorders that affects your joints. The symptoms of pain, swelling, and tenderness are as well-known as they are common: around 23% of adults suffer from some sort of arthritis.

Exact causes of arthritis are not entirely clear; some evidence points to genetics, previous injuries, and your age and gender. While it cannot be prevented, physical therapy can go a long way towards easing your symptoms and maintaining your quality of life.

Physical therapy is effective for managing all types of arthritis. However, you should also consult with a doctor to examine other underlying causes of your particular type.

Starting Treatment

You do not need a referral of any kind to begin physical therapy for your arthritis! You should, however, check with your insurance: certain providers may not cover it, or only cover a certain number of treatments.

Before you go, think of your desired outcomes for treatment. Maybe you’d like to be able to stretch to your top kitchen cabinets, or keep up your evening walks, or get in and out of your car without pain. Those specific outcomes can help fine-tune your treatment.

Goals of Treatment

The primary goal of physical therapy for arthritis is to improve your mobility in the affected areas. More importantly, your therapist will enable you to do this on your own.

Your PT will first work with you to identify the exact point and causes of your pain: which joint, movements that trigger pain, how severe the pain is. This leads to a custom exercise routine that you develop in our offices. You and your PT practice the routine, modifying it as you go, and you learn how to do the exercises on your own at home.

A big part of arthritis management is to modify your environment to adapt to your disorder. Your physical therapist will provide recommendations such as ergonomic chairs, assistive devices like walkers and canes, and tips on your posture for the office and driving.

Visits to your PT are short, usually around an hour, and you choose the frequency of visits. Many patients stop physical therapy when their pain is relieved, and then come back when necessary to tackle new symptoms.

Do you suffer from arthritis! Physical Therapy Partners can help! With years of experience in the Triangle, we focus on long-term relationships and are proud to offer 1:1 treatment for every single one of our patients. Contact us today to get started!