Arthritis Pain Affects Many People
Arthritis pain is a condition of degeneration affecting the joints of the body. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which is characterized by enlarged, painful, or creaky joints which are usually not warm to the touch nor red in appearance. Other forms of arthritis are gout, rheumatoid, psoriatic, and infectious. People frequently seek out physical therapy and occupational therapy treatment for pain in the back and neck, hip and knee, shoulder, ankles, and hand. From 2013-15, an estimated 54.4 million US adults annually had been advised by a physician that they had some form of arthritis. The prevalence of arthritis is expected to rise to 78 million Americans ages 18 or older by 2040. Regardless of the type of arthritis present, the impact on walking and safety can be profound. The presence of arthritis increases the risk of falling. Research has shown that adults with arthritis were about 2.5 times more likely to have two or more falls and to suffer a fall injury in the past 12 months when compare to non-arthritic adults. If you are at risk of falling, we strongly recommend participating in a balance training program.
Do You Have Arthritis Pain?
As you grow older, your risk for developing osteoarthritis increases due to the amount of time you’ve used your joints. In some cases, genetics may in a factor. Past joint injuries also increase the likelihood of arthritis development later in life (remember your football days, that skiing accident, or the car crash you had many years ago?). Occupations that require repetitive bending, squatting, prolonged kneeling, and twisting (i.e. construction, carpenters, movers, roofers, etc.) are also at high risk of developing osteoarthritis. Lastly, excessive weight or obesity causes prolonged stresses and loading on weight-bearing joints, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis development.
What Are Symptoms of Arthritis?
- Stiffness in the joint(s), especially in the morning, which eases in less than 30 minutes
- Stiffness in the joint(s) after sitting or lying down for long periods
- Pain during activity that is relieved by rest
- Cracking, creaking, crunching or other types of joint noise
- Pain when you press on the joint
- Increased bone growth around the joint that you may be able to feel
How Can Our Physical and Occupational Therapists Help You?
Our Doctors of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapists conduct one-on-one examinations to review your symptoms and determine how they are impacting your daily activities. We help you come up with a plan to manage your condition. Your specific therapist will construct a unique, individualized, pain-free exercise program that is safe for your joints, emphasizes strengthening, and elevates your level of conditioning, Research for managing arthritis pain has shown that carefully, prescribed exercise is one of the best ways to reduce pain, stiffness, and increase range of motion. Our therapists utilize a number of manual therapy skills and techniques to improve the movement of arthritic joints. We educate you with recommendations to modify your home and work activities to reduce strain on your joints. Our arthritis programs also include specific exercise instruction for weight loss. Research has suggested that walking 6,000 steps a day may help improve knee arthritis and prevent disability. If you have pain with walking, we recommend you check out our AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. The ultimate goal of our therapy programs is to improve your tolerance to daily activities and to return you to the pain-free lifestyle you desire.
I Need to Have Surgery
In some situations, your arthritis may be advanced and require surgery to correct the situation. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapist work closely with local physicians and physicians from hospitals in Miami, New York, Boston, Baltimore, and more. Rest assured that if you are having a surgery for shoulder, hip, knee, or ankle replacements you are in expert hands. We are also experts in post-surgical management of spine surgeries including laminectomies and fusions.