Arthritis is very common and affects the mobility and quality of life for millions. Osteoarthritis is most prevalent, and occurs when the protective cartilage at the end of a bone wears down over time. Another frequently diagnosed form is rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disorder, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues. Both are associated with inflammation.
Arthritis does not have too many biases, it can present itself in all age groups. People with arthritis are often the best “weather experts”. Cold, wet weather is the worst for inciting arthritis pain. Our adult skeletons have 206 bones with approximately 360 joints, and while our modern surgical medicine is capable of performing replacements for specific joints, others will remain as their “original parts.”
Is this you?
- Walking less often due to stiffness and pain with weight-bearing. Those ankles, knees and hips talk to you every time you transition to standing.
- Low back stiffness is diminishing your confidence and limiting your ability to enjoy treasured activities for fear of your back “giving out.”
- Reaching up into the cupboard for that coffee mug or removing your favorite shirt from the closet hanger is now met with a grimace.
- Kneeling in the garden is becoming questionable and Spring planting is a cherished time of year.
Whether your arthritis is juvenile onset, middle age or senior era, our fitness and wellness approach is focused on prevention and/or management. Here is where we can help!
- We understand that your days are not created equal and that there are “good days” and “bad days.” Our physical therapists can provide an individualized activity program that focuses on movement without an increase in pain.
- Our joint protection recommendations can keep you active with greater ease and confidence– from opening jars, kneeling in the garden or being ready for that long-awaited trip to Italy.
- If weight management is a concern, we can provide information, guidance, and anti-inflammatory food recommendations.
- We can teach you proper posture and body mechanics, including correct lifting techniques and core muscle strengthening.
- Recommendations can be made for different treatment options, such as hot and cold therapy, massage, shoe inserts and analgesic creams.
- We can help identify the best cane or walker to suit your mobility and safety needs.
- PREHAB – If a joint replacement surgery is inevitable, we can team up with you before the surgery to do a home equipment assessment and guide you through very gentle exercises to best prepare your muscles and improve strength six weeks prior to the surgery. We are also happy to coach family and caregivers on how to best take care of your loved one when they return home. Your post-op recovery will likely be shortened, with less pain and anxiety and a speedier return to the activities you love!
The key to a successful outcome is learning the correct technique from a physical therapist and practicing at home over the long term. Improvement is gradual, yet with consistency your body will get stronger and respond to your gentle efforts. If you should have any questions, please give us a call.