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Physical Therapy for Arthritis: What to Expect

Physical Therapy for Arthritis: What to Expect

If you’re one of the more than 92 million people in the United States who have arthritis or arthritis symptoms, you’re likely tired of your life being limited by joint pain and inflammation. These same symptoms may also present a hurdle to one of the best remedies for arthritis — exercise. Through our physical therapy programs, we can help you clear this hurdle so that you can get back to an active life.

The role that physical therapy can play in combating arthritis is significant, which is why Western Orthopaedics offers customized physical therapy services. Through targeted physical therapy, our team of orthopaedic experts can help you regain pain-free movement and the freedom to live your life again.

Here’s a look at what you can expect during physical therapy (PT) and how it helps you overcome the limitations and discomfort that are part and parcel of arthritis.

Improving mobility

Whether you have osteoarthritis (OA) in your knees or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in your fingers, the odds are that your life is limited by the pain and inflammation in these joints. One of the first goals of our physical therapy is to restore mobility or dexterity to your joints, allowing you to regain their use to the extent possible.

To do this, we have you complete targeted stretching exercises that improve flexibility and range of motion in your joints. This might mean hamstring stretches for knee OA or flat-handed finger lifts for RA in your fingers. These are just two examples, and there are hundreds more, depending on which of your joints is affected by arthritis.

Increasing strength

Another great way to relieve the discomfort and stiffness in your joints is to strengthen the surrounding support tissues. Joints are where bones come together, but these bones are held together and aided by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. 

Through PT, we concentrate on strengthening the muscles that surround your arthritic joint, which helps spread out the workload and takes some of the pressure off of your beleaguered joint.

Maintaining function

Another goal of our PT is to provide you with the tools and tips you need to maintain your ability to function well. We teach you how to work around certain hurdles, such as advanced arthritis, by providing you with tools like shoe inserts, assistive devices, or recommendations for modifying your environment to better accommodate your arthritis.

We can put this into practice during your physical therapy session. For example, we may spend some time working on stairs or improving your balance so you can avoid accidents.

Beyond exercise

Our physical therapy also goes beyond just exercises, as we incorporate different beneficial therapies into your program, such as ice and heat therapies, as well as massage. 

Ultimately, if you have arthritis, you have everything to gain from physical therapy. Whether you have weekly sessions with us or you come in more or less frequently, we know how to restore health to your joints so you can free yourself from the confines of a life with arthritis.

If you want to explore how physical therapy can greatly improve your quality of life when you have arthritis, contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to set up an appointment.

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