Pain Relief for Arthritis
Do you ever wake up achy, with stiff or tight joints? Does your pain feel severe in the morning but seem to lessen throughout the day? If so, you may have early-onset arthritis. Arthritis is a common ailment that many people experience; however, most live with their painful joints for far too long before they decide to seek help.
Fortunately, arthritis can be managed with the help of our Bellevue, WA physical therapy practice. One of our highly-trained physical therapists will determine if exercises will be beneficial in providing pain relief for your arthritis during everyday activities, and they will also help you decrease your risk of sustaining arthritis-related injuries. If you are suffering from arthritis, or you think you may be experiencing arthritic symptoms, contact Eastside Sports Rehabilitation Clinic today to schedule a consultation and get started on the first steps of your treatment plan.
How do people develop arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most commonly experienced form of arthritis, and therefore it is typically easy to diagnosis. Osteoarthritis can be caused by a sudden injury to a joint, or it can develop after a previous injury has fully healed. For example, let’s say you were a gymnast in college and you take a hard fall on your knee. You seek treatment, recover, and return to your sport. Although the injury healed in its entirety, it is still possible for you to develop osteoarthritis from it later in life.
The same is true for labor-intensive careers. If you have a job as a plumber or handyman where you have to swing tools in repetitive motions as a crucial part of the job, you may develop osteoarthritis in the joints of your elbows or hands. Being overweight may also increase your risk for developing osteoarthritis, since additional strain is being put on your knee and hip joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, the second most commonly experienced form of arthritis, is not as easily understood. It develops as an autoimmune response, meaning that the immune system sees the joints as a threat. Because of this, the immune system decides to attack the joints, causing pain and inflammation. Researchers have come to believe that your medical history, environment, and hormones could all be contributing factors toward the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Because it is an autoimmune condition, it is common for it to affect the same joints on each side of your body.
Do I have the symptoms of arthritis?
According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis affects over 50 million people and it is currently the leading cause of disability across the nation. Because it is so commonplace across the United States, it is important to understand the symptoms.
As we mentioned earlier, the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is caused when the cartilage around the joints wears down, either due to age or overuse. When this happens, severe pain may be felt in the joint, as the cartilage is no longer acting as the thick cushion that it once was. Without a cushion, the bones grind together, causing a sensation of soreness, tightness, or piercing pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, also referred to as “inflammatory arthritis,” can cause painful swelling, bone erosion, and joint deformity. Symptoms could include stiffness, tenderness, weakness and the sensation of pins and needles. It is an autoimmune disease that can affect the joints on both sides of the body, and it is typically more prevalent in females than males.
Those suffering from arthritis typically report sore or stiff muscles when they wake up in the morning, but the discomfort tends to fade throughout the day. Arthritis can cause pain when you exercise or work, and the pain may go away after you stop doing that activity. The painful joints may even make a “popping” or “clicking” sound when moved, which could be a sign that you are experiencing arthritic symptoms. The affected joint may also be sensitive or painful to the touch.
According to WebMD, those suffering from arthritic pain can greatly benefit from physical therapy. One of our dedicated Bellevue, WA physical therapists will conduct a physical evaluation to determine what the best course of treatment will be for you. Depending on the nature of your condition, your treatment plan may include weight management to help ease some stress on your joints, or posture improvement to relieve stiffness and prevent injury. Your physical therapist will also provide specific techniques for alleviating pain, which may include thermal therapies, manual therapy, or ultrasound.
If you are experiencing arthritic symptoms and you are looking to find pain relief for arthritis, contact our Bellevue, WA physical therapy office today! Our dedicated physical therapists at Eastside Sports Rehabilitation Clinic will be happy to help you find the relief you need.
Do your joints feel stiff, achy, or painful, especially when you wake up in the morning? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of arthritis. This is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis, but it is common to also expereince accompanying symptoms. Other sensations you may experience with arthritis include pain in the affected region, which may spread to surrounding body parts; persistent stiffness; inflammation; muscle spasms, joint creaking, clicking, or popping sounds; increased pain with certain activities, such as work or exercise; decreased range of motion in the affected area, abnormalities in gait, such as limping; swelling; weakness; and a warm sensation in the affected joint.
Regardless of the cause of arthritis, physical therapy plays a major role in the treatment of its symptoms. Your physical therapist will conduct a physical evaluation to analyze your joint movement, muscle strength, and overall function, in order to pinpoint the exact areas that are causing you pain. You will then be prescribed a personalized treatment plan, focused around your specific needs. Treatment plans will include targeted stretches and exercises aimed at relieving your pain and improving your function, in addition to any specialized methods your physical therapist deems fit. This may include manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound. Your physical therapist may also include additional services as needed, such as weight management techniques to help ease some stress on your joints, and/or posture improvement to relieve stiffness and prevent injury.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, containing monoarthritis (where only one joint is affected) and oligoarthritis (where multiple joints are affected). According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 54.4 million U.S. adults are diagnosed with some form of arthritis per year. As we age, the cartilage in our joints wears down, causing painful bone-on-bone rubbing, inflammation, stiffness, and pain. While it is possible for arthritis to develop in any of the joints, the fingers, elbows, shoulders, lower back, hips, and knees are among the most common.
While there is no cure for arthritis yet, it is possible to alleviate arthritic symptoms by improving your joint movement, muscle strength, balance, and coordination through physical therapy treatments. In some cases, physical therapy can even make it possible to eliminate symptoms entirely. For best results, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist as soon as you begin noticing arthritic symptoms. The sooner they get treated, the easier they are to manage. Whatever type of arthritis you may be suffering from, physical therapy undoubtedly plays an important role in pain relief. In addition, it can also help you avoid the need for harmful pain-management drugs or invasive surgical correction.