Living with Arthritis: How Physical Therapy Eases Pain and Improves Mobility

Jan 01, 2023

Living with Arthritis: How Physical Therapy Eases Pain and Improves Mobility

Living with Arthritis: How Physical Therapy Eases Pain and Improves Mobility

Arthritis 一 a chronic condition that causes joint pain and inflammation 一 affects almost 60 million adults yearly. As a leading cause of disability, it’s not surprising that there are many conservative and surgical treatments for arthritis. Cold therapy, heat therapy, medication, injections, and even joint replacement are all potential ways to manage chronic pain and live with arthritis. 

Today, our team of orthopedic specialists is here to highlight another common treatment: physical therapy. Read on to see how physical therapy eases arthritis pain.

How physical therapy helps with arthritis

Physical therapy refers to many different modalities, stretches, and exercises that help reduce pain and regain function in your affected joint. Physical therapy can help reduce joint pain and swelling, improves your range of motion, and even help slow down joint damage. 

Reduce pain

Each customized physical therapy plan includes structured exercises and stretches based on the stage and type of your arthritis. The goal is to exercise without pushing too hard on your affected joint. Exercise can help reduce pain in two ways:

  1. It helps replenish necessary lubrication to joint cartilage and can reduce stiffness and inflammation 
  2. It helps you lose weight (losing even one pound takes four pounds of pressure off your knees!)

We can provide specific exercises for you and guide low-impact activities (such as swimming) that support healthy joints.

Reduces swelling

Physical therapy can also help you manage joint swelling. Hands-on manual therapies 一 one of the many modalities of physical therapy 一 help fight joint inflammation by gaining movement while reducing pain and encouraging blood flow. Increased blood flow is particularly helpful in reducing swelling. More blood flow means more white blood cells (and other elements of your immune system) flood your affected joint. This, in turn, promotes healing.

 Hands-on manual therapies include soft tissue and joint mobilization.

Improve range of motion 

When joint swelling decreases, your range of motion increases. Physical therapy for arthritis may include exercises as well as guidance on posture.

Slow down joint damage

Stretching exercises help prevent your arthritic joints from becoming stiffer over time. Additionally, our team can also provide lifestyle guidance to help slow down joint damage by adopting joint-friendly habits, such as exercising, eating anti-inflammatory foods, and using supportive devices. We can also recommend changes to your living environment to help prevent injuries or any symptom exacerbations.

Physical therapy complements other treatments

Physical therapy is just one part of comprehensive arthritis treatment. Here at Sequoia Institute Orthopaedic Specialists, you have access to a host of arthritis treatments, including:

  • Medications 
  • Corticosteroids (steroid injections) 
  • SynoJoint® ( hyaluronic acid injections)
  • Surgery

To explore the benefits of physical therapy for arthritis, call the location of your choice ー Porterville, Reedley, and Visalia, California ー to book your appointment.