What is Osteoarthritits?
Your doctor just told you that you have osteoarthritis, now you are wondering what is it? Osteoarthritis has many different names including degenerative joint disease, OA, and degenerative arthritis. It is a degenerative process characterized by loss and wearing away of the cartilage that protects the joint. According to the CDC. It affects over 26 million US adults. It occurs in 13.9% of adults age 25 and older and 33.6% of those age 65+. It does progress with age and often leads to joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The cartilage of the knee is a protective coating that covers the bones and reduces friction, bone stress, and absorbs shock.
Just because you have arthritis, it doesn’t mean that you have to be in pain or limit your activity. There is no reversing arthritis but it is possible to minimize the symptoms. As a physical therapist, I see patients who maintain their strength, flexibility and weight mange their symptoms the best. Additionally, if a joint is flared up, it is possible to decrease inflammation and resulting pain.
How To Manage Osteoarthritis Pain:
- Stay active. Motion is good for your joints. You may notice that your pain is worst after sitting for period of time or upon waking. This is because inactivity can actually promote inflammation. So low impact motion will keep inflammation from accumulating and actually reduce your pain.
- Stay strong. Your joints rely on your muscles and tendons to stabilize the joints. So it is extremely important to maintain your strength. Exercises performed in a non-weight bearing fashion are better than weight bearing exercises for those with osteoarthritis.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Studies have shown that for every pound of weight loss 4 pounds of force is reduced on the knee. Additionally, weight loss is correlated to improvement in function.
- Seek help. If your arthritis is limiting your ability to enjoy your life and/or do your job, consult a medical professional. From physical therapy to surgery there is a whole spectrum of conservative to invasive procedures that may benefit you. A new revolutionary program, Joint Nutracare, has been designed to facilitate relief. It gets to the root of the problem that causes osteoarthritis for long lasting relief.
As a physical therapist, we offer several things that will benefit a person suffering from osteoarthritis. Hands on therapy can help improve your flexibility by stretching the connective tissue around the joint. This improved tissue flexibility decreases stress on the joints. Additionally, osteoarthritis pain is often decreased through specific exercises that can be prescribed. We offer many other revolutionary treatments. Such as the 830Laser. Watch for my next blog which will cover the top 5 exercises for OA relief.
Physical Therapy Can Help
If you are suffering from arthritis pain, you would benefit from physical therapy. Contact us directly at Flex Physical Therapy if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We regularly help patients manage their arthritis pain and put off the need for surgery. 800-930-8803