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Therapist Q&A: Let’s Talk About Arthritis


What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the inflammation or degeneration of one or more joints in the body. This is a broad term that is used to describe multiple joint conditions – there are actually over 100 types of arthritis. Each type comes with different symptoms and requires different treatments.

How do I know if I have arthritis?

Typically, arthritis presents as stiffness of the joint that has been present for months. That stiffness is usually accompanied by pain, swelling, redness and warmth of the area. Joint stiffness can interfere with your ability to do everyday tasks such as dressing, climbing stairs, brushing your hair, or opening jars.

Is arthritis curable?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. However, most of the symptoms that arise with this condition are easily manageable.

What are the goals of physical therapy for arthritis patients?

The goals of physical therapy are to decrease pain and fatigue, increase joint mobility and muscle flexibility, and to improve overall endurance and quality of functional daily activities. Physical therapy is most certainly one of the best conservative and holistic managements for arthritic patients.

What can I expect in a PT session?

A comprehensive evaluation and assessment of one’s arthritic signs and symptoms is performed to serve as a base line in creating a customized and individualized treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include the use of pain modalities (hot/ cold packs, electric stimulation, etc.), manual therapy (soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, stretches, etc.) and exercises to improve endurance and overall function. A structured home exercise program will also be part of the session to make sure any improvement inside the clinic will carry over at home. And most importantly, we provide lots of care, compassion and encouragement to help you in every way possible.

Is arthritis pain preventing you from doing the things you love? Give your local ACCESS PT office a call today – we’d love to help!