Arthritis, that inflammation of the joints that causes pain, swelling and limited movement, can be a debilitating illness, causing stiffness and pain with every movement. For some arthritis patients, physical therapy can help improve range of motion and reduce inflammation. While it can’t cure arthritis, physical therapy can provide several benefits.
Prevent Loss of Joint Use
The end result of arthritis is loss of use of the affected joint. With the help of a physical therapist, arthritis patients can learn how to push their joints through a full range of motion safely. By carefully moving a patient through the exercises, a physical therapist can help encourage ongoing use of the joint.
Restore Lost Movement
Arthritis may not be curable, but some of the movement lost because of the disease may be restored with physical therapy. Physical therapists focus on flexibility and increasing a patient’s range of motion, so an arthritis patient can restore lost movement due to the stiff and painful joints. If physical therapy begins early, it can help reduce some of the symptoms of arthritis and restore range of motion to affected joints.
People suffering with arthritis may not use their muscles as much as they should, because movement hurts the inflamed joints. A physical therapist can help restore that strength with carefully planned movements that do not make the inflammation worse, but do restore muscular strength. A body that has strong muscles is less prone to injury as well, even with the problems associated with arthritis.
Physical therapy should be used as part of an overall arthritis treatment plan, and the sooner you start treatment, the more effective your physical therapy treatment will be. While it is not a cure, many patients experience significant benefits from physical therapy, giving them a new lease on life. If you are struggling with pain and stiffness from arthritis, Manhattan Physical Therapy can help with carefully targeted physical therapy techniques, so you can get some relief as you seek to remain fit and healthy in spite of your condition.