arthritis Battle Creek MI

Pain Relief for Arthritis

Push Arthritic Pains Away with Physical Therapy

Are your joints stiff and achy when you wake up in the morning, but seem to dissipate as the day progresses? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of early-onset arthritis. Arthritis is a common condition that millions of Americans are diagnosed with. While the pain can be managed with physical therapy, many patients wait until their arthritic symptoms become severe before seeking help.

If you are suffering from arthritis, or you think you might be, our Battle Creek, MI physical therapy practice is here to help. Our dedicated physical therapists will diagnose your condition and treat you accordingly, in addition to decreasing your risk of sustaining arthritis-related injuries. Contact Muscle & Spine Rehabilitation Center today to schedule a consultation and get started on your first steps toward relief!

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis – Defined:

Osteoarthritis is the most commonly experienced type of arthritis, which generally makes it easy to diagnose. Osteoarthritis can develop a few different ways – for example, a sudden injury to a joint can lead to osteoarthritis, or it can develop over time, even after the injury has healed.

Consider this scenario: you’re a football player who took a harsh blow to the knee during a game. You undergo the required treatment, you recover, and you return to the game. However, you continue to notice lingering pains in your knee, even after you end your football career. Even if your injury healed completely, it is still possible for osteoarthritis to occur later in life, especially if you continued running and jumping on the affected joint.

The same is true for labor-intensive careers. If you have a job where you have to swing tools in repetitive motions (such as a carpenter or roofer), your joints are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. Obesity can also lead to osteoarthritis (or act as a contributing factor) because additional strain is put on the hip and knee joints from carrying the extra weight.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a bit different from osteoarthritis and it is not as well understood. It is the second most commonly experienced form of arthritis, and it develops as an autoimmune response. Here’s what happens: when someone has rheumatoid arthritis, their immune system sees the joints as a threat. Because of this, the immune system attacks the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation.

While research is still being done in order to better understand rheumatoid arthritis, many experts believe that your hormones, medical history, and environment could all be contributing factors. Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, rather than an injury or general “wear and tear” like osteoarthritis, it is common for the same joints to be affected on both sides of your body.

Are you experiencing these symptoms?

Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability across the United States? According to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 50 million people live with arthritis. Because it is so commonplace, it is important to understand the symptoms.

Osteoarthritis occurs when joints wear down. This can be due to repetitive overuse of the joints or the natural deterioration that comes with age. The “wear and tear” of osteoarthritis can cause severe pain in the joints, as the cartilage is no longer acting as a cushion and shock absorber. Without thick cartilage, the bones begin to rub together, resulting in tight, sore, and painful joints.

Some common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (also referred to as “inflammatory arthritis”) may also include painful swelling, joint deformity, or bone erosion. This can result in tenderness, stiffness, weakness, or “pins and needles” sensations.

Arthritis can greatly limit daily life, making it difficult to work, exercise, and participate in leisure activities. Any type of arthritis may result in similar symptoms. A common report amongst arthritic patients is a feeling of stiffness within the joints as soon as they wake up, with the discomfort fading throughout the day. It is also common that joints may feel sensitive or painful to the touch, with “popping” or “clicking” sounds occurring with movement.

Contact Muscle & Spine Rehabilitation Center:

Anyone suffering from the aches and pains of arthritis could greatly benefit from physical therapy. When you schedule an appointment with Muscle & Spine Rehabilitation Center, you’ll be greeted by one of our licensed Battle Creek, MI physical therapists who will determine your best course of treatment through a thorough evaluation. Treatment plans will be dependent upon the nature of your condition and your personal medical needs. They will include specific techniques for alleviating your arthritis pain, which may include manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, or ultrasound. They may also include additional services as needed, such as weight management techniques to help ease some stress on your joints, and/or posture improvement to relieve stiffness and prevent injury.

Treatment plans for arthritis cases are aimed at relieving pain and decreasing the amount of inflammation, stiffness, and overall stress placed on the joint(s). If you have arthritis, or you think you may be experiencing arthritic symptoms, contact our Battle Creek, MI physical therapy office today to consult with one of our physical therapists. Push arthritic pains away today with Muscle & Spine Rehabilitation Center!

FAQs

What are the symptoms for arthritis pain?

Do your joints feel stiff, achy, or painful, especially when you wake up in the morning? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of arthritis. This is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis, but it is common to also expereince accompanying symptoms. Other sensations you may experience with arthritis include pain in the affected region, which may spread to surrounding body parts; persistent stiffness; inflammation; muscle spasms, joint creaking, clicking, or popping sounds; increased pain with certain activities, such as work or exercise; decreased range of motion in the affected area, abnormalities in gait, such as limping; swelling; weakness; and a warm sensation in the affected joint.

What are the best physical therapy treatments for arthritis pain?

Regardless of the cause of arthritis, physical therapy plays a major role in the treatment of its symptoms. Your physical therapist will conduct a physical evaluation to analyze your joint movement, muscle strength, and overall function, in order to pinpoint the exact areas that are causing you pain. You will then be prescribed a personalized treatment plan, focused around your specific needs. Treatment plans will include targeted stretches and exercises aimed at relieving your pain and improving your function, in addition to any specialized methods your physical therapist deems fit. This may include manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound. Your physical therapist may also include additional services as needed, such as weight management techniques to help ease some stress on your joints, and/or posture improvement to relieve stiffness and prevent injury.

Can arthritis affect different body parts?

There are over 100 different types of arthritis, containing monoarthritis (where only one joint is affected) and oligoarthritis (where multiple joints are affected). According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 54.4 million U.S. adults are diagnosed with some form of arthritis per year. As we age, the cartilage in our joints wears down, causing painful bone-on-bone rubbing, inflammation, stiffness, and pain. While it is possible for arthritis to develop in any of the joints, the fingers, elbows, shoulders, lower back, hips, and knees are among the most common.

Can arthritis be cured?

While there is no cure for arthritis yet, it is possible to alleviate arthritic symptoms by improving your joint movement, muscle strength, balance, and coordination through physical therapy treatments. In some cases, physical therapy can even make it possible to eliminate symptoms entirely. For best results, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist as soon as you begin noticing arthritic symptoms. The sooner they get treated, the easier they are to manage. Whatever type of arthritis you may be suffering from, physical therapy undoubtedly plays an important role in pain relief. In addition, it can also help you avoid the need for harmful pain-management drugs or invasive surgical correction.