According to the National Institutes of Health, over 90 million Americans have arthritis. Unfortunately, experts have yet to find a cure for this prevalent condition. However, it’s still possible to manage the disease effectively and lead a productive life.
One of the options your doctor may recommend for arthritis is physical therapy. Here’s what you need to know about it:
What Happens During Physical Therapy?
The goal of physical therapy could vary depending on the severity of the disease and your overall health. For patients with arthritis, physical therapists aim to:
- Improve balance and coordination
- Restore strength
- Improve range of motion/flexibility
- Make it easier to perform everyday tasks
Some of the things you can expect from a physical therapist include:
The most common objective is to relieve painful symptoms caused by joint inflammation. Your provider can perform massages or use other techniques to reduce swelling and pain. They can also teach simple home remedies, like hot and cold compresses, to relieve aching.
Custom-Crafted Exercise Plan
More importantly, your physical therapist can craft a customized exercise plan to improve mobility and restore function. They will design this program to increase in intensity as you get stronger.
You will first perform exercises under their supervision. Your provider can spot errors in body posture and teach you how to carry your body correctly. They will check whether you may be unknowingly putting strain on your joints. Once you learn proper body mechanics, you may exercise at home.
If needed, they can recommend assistive devices, like canes, braces, and crutches. They will also teach you how and when to use them.
Types of Physical Therapy Exercises
Exercise is an essential component of your physical therapy plan. It will be personalized based on your needs and physical activity level. Yours may include a combination of the following:
Cardiovascular exercises help improve your overall fitness and stamina. However, you don’t want to push yourself too hard. Your provider will recommend low to moderate-intensity exercises, such as:
Take it easy and rest if you feel any pain. To know if your exercise is still moderate in intensity, you should be able to carry out a conversation while doing it.
Your muscles can become stiff due to a prolonged lack of movement, which may contribute to joint pain. Muscle stiffness, in turn, decreases your range of motion. Physical activity reduces pain over the long run, even if it might feel painful in the short term.
Your physical therapist will likely recommend that you perform mobility exercises daily. These involve stretching your joints and moving your body in certain positions to maximize mobility.
Muscle Strengthening Exercises
The advantage of building strength when you have arthritis is that these muscles will support your affected joints. Strengthening exercises could slow down the progression of your arthritis and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Weight training is an essential aspect of strengthening muscles. Start gradually, and don’t overexert yourself. If done improperly, it could make your condition worse. Again, make sure to work with your therapist and follow their instructions.
Physical Therapy in Wooster, Ohio
Having arthritis could make everyday life uncomfortable, and the pain can strike at any time. At worst, it could make simple tasks difficult or even impossible. If your condition has limited your daily function and quality of life, consider physical therapy in Wooster, Ohio. A physical therapist can help you manage your symptoms effectively.
Here in Wooster Community Hospital, our highly-trained staff can diagnose and design a personalized treatment plan. We take pride in providing excellent medical care for all our patients.
Let us know you are coming by contacting us at (330) 202-2225 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet!