Osteoarthritis affects over 32.5 million US adults. Arthritis is characterized by progressive degeneration of the cartilage in the joint space. Wear and tear of the cartilage over time can lead to bone spurs, inflammation, pain, stiffness, and weakness. Arthritis can affect the joint mechanics which can lead to other muscles compensating for it.
What Are Symptoms of Arthritis?
- Decreased range of motion
- Joint hypomobility and stiffness
- Pain with movement or activities
- Swelling and tenderness along the joint line
- Decreased walking and stair tolerance
- Loss of function during activities of daily living
What Can I Do To Help My Arthritis Pain?
- Stretch the muscles that cross the joint to maintain the proper range of motion
- Do strengthening exercises to improve the joint’s ability to accept stress/loads
- Make sure to drink a lot of water to hydrate the joint space and soft tissues
- Perform joint mobilizations to increase the joint space and relieve stiffness
- Use Heat/Ice to help relieve arthritis pain
Can Physical Therapy Help?
Yes, Physical Therapy is one of the most beneficial treatments for people with arthritis pain. It can help maximize joint mobility and movement, improve the range of motion of the joint, strengthen muscles to improve function, and relieve pain/stiffness.