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If you’re struggling with pain and inflammation in some of your joints, you’re not alone. About 1 in 4 people have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and The Arthritis Foundation reports that more than 92 million people have arthritis-like symptoms or doctor-diagnosed arthritis. More alarming still is that experts expect these already-high numbers to grow even higher as our population ages and carries more weight.
Since there’s no cure for arthritis, in all its many forms, treatment comes down to managing the joint pain and inflammation as best we can. Luckily, there are incredibly effective techniques for restoring pain-free movement to your joints — and physical therapy sits at or near the top of the list.
At Western Orthopaedics, our team of musculoskeletal experts includes world-class orthopaedic surgeons, as well as an impressive team of physical therapists. From rehabbing an injury to combating chronic conditions like arthritis, our on-site physical therapy services play an invaluable role in helping our patients to maintain a great quality of life.
If you want to learn more about how physical therapy can help when you have arthritis, read on.
Arthritis is a catchall term for a wide range of diseases that cause inflammation and pain within your joints. Whether your synovial membranes or your cartilage are compromised, the tissues that remain untouched by arthritis are the surrounding muscles.
Through physical therapy, we strengthen the muscles surrounding your affected joint so that they provide more support and take the pressure off of the damaged tissues.
Another goal of our physical therapy team is to help you preserve your range of motion. Over time, arthritis can lead to pain and stiffness in your joints, greatly reducing your range of motion. Here again, we target surrounding connective tissues, such as your ligaments, tendons, and muscles, and work these areas so that they remain loose.
If arthritis in your knees or hips has created problems with maintaining your balance, our physical therapists design a program that will help you feel more secure and stable when you’re on your feet.
Another area in which physical therapy can help with arthritis is in improving your posture. Bad posture places more pressure on certain joints, and you want to even out the workload. By concentrating on your sitting and standing postures, our physical therapists eliminate added stresses on your already beleaguered joints.
If your arthritis has progressed fairly far, our physical therapists design a program that meets you where you are. If, for example, you need help with assistive devices, our therapists work with you until you're comfortable with the new aid.
Or perhaps stairs are problematic for you. In this case, our physical therapy team focuses on this important function.
The goal with our therapy, also called functional physical therapy, is to provide you with safe ways to work around your damaged joints and still maintain your independence.
The bottom line is that physical therapy is a crucial piece in your arthritis treatment puzzle, and this approach can make the difference between a sedentary life in which you succumb to joint disease and one in which you can live to the fullest.
To learn more about how physical therapy can help you combat arthritis, contact our physical therapy office in Denver, Colorado, by clicking here.