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Arthritis Pain Sufferers- This Blog is for You!

Arthritis is a joint disorder, which features inflammation, pain and stiffness. There is also often a loss in movement with arthritis, as the joints are too inflamed to move. When only a single joint is involved it’s known as monoarthritis. If two or three joints are involved it’s referred to as oligoarthritis. To date there are over 100 types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs due to wear and tear of the cartilage and rheumatoid arthritis results from an overactive immune system. Arthritis is the most common chronic illness in the nation. Many people cannot work due to arthritis and have to go on disability. And it affects men, women and children. Arthritic pain can impede one’s mobility and quality of life. If you suffer from arthritic pain be sure to call Babin Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment with our physical therapist. Physical therapy for arthritic pain has been proven by research to be highly effective.

Diagnosing Arthritis and Getting Treatment

Your doctor will examine your joints for deformity and inflammation, look for signs of disease and review your history of symptoms. Blood tests, urine tests, x-rays or joint fluid tests may be ordered. Early diagnosis can prevent disability and irreversible damage. Exercise routines, medications, rest and physical therapy may be recommended. A physical therapist can provide properly guided exercise regimens. It’s important that you do the proper, safe exercises to avoid injury.

The Role of Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Physical therapy is all about engaging in physical activity and exercise. “Physical activity is essential to optimizing both physical and mental health and can play a vital role in the management of arthritis. Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain. Exercise also helps to enhance energy and stamina by decreasing fatigue and improving sleep. Exercise can enhance weight loss and promote long-term weight management in those with arthritis who are overweight.”

Arthritis pain can be miserable and debilitating for those who suffer from it, and unfortunately, there is no cure for it. A physical therapist will custom tailor a therapeutic exercise program to help mobility and strength. A physical therapist will create a treatment program that addresses all areas of the body. For example, if you suffer from arthritis pain in the knee an exercise program will address the lower back, hip and ankle, in addition to the knee. That’s because all of these areas contribute to proper knee control and mechanics. Carrying objects, lifting and squatting may also be a part of the treatment plan.

Physical therapy also consists of manual therapy. It has been proven that joint and soft tissue mobilization help patients suffering from arthritis pain. Deep tissue massage, TENS, ice packs and heat therapy may also be part of the treatment plan by a physical therapist. All of these treatments are passive modalities that increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, reduce pain and enhance mobility. All around, physical therapy is an effective, noninvasive method for arthritis pain. Plus, you won’t have to rely on those pain meds, which can lead to addiction.

If you’re suffering from arthritis pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our certified physical therapists. Our research-driven treatments will help you get fast pain relief. Get your life back on track with treatment from our Babin physical therapists in Kenner, LA. Our physical therapy team is your partner in getting you well and committed to your success.

Treating Arthritis Pain Without The Meds

Arthritis is a catch-all term used to describe more than 100 different kinds of joint pain and joint disease. While arthritis is commonly believed to be a condition that afflicts the elderly, the reality is that it can strike people in early middle age. In fact, elite male athletes are more likely to develop arthritis than the general public. Arthritis medications and pain medicines can cause some nasty side effects. So, if you’re looking for a natural treatment for arthritis, consider meeting with a physical therapist at BabinPT Physical Therapy to learn how you can kick the meds and reduce your arthritis symptoms.

What Is Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. This is caused by a reduction in joint cartilage as it wears away through age or “wear and tear.” This causes bones to rub together, which leads to pain and swelling. Physical therapy can often help to reduce arthritis pain without medication, especially if the arthritis is mild to moderate.

Inflammatory Arthritis: In certain cases, the body’s immune system will attack joint tissues with intense inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is one example of this type of condition. Inflammatory arthritis often has a genetic cause, and doctors usually treat it aggressively with drugs. However, depending on the severity of symptoms, physical therapy may be recommended for treatment as well.

Metabolic Arthritis: The most common type of metabolic arthritis is gout, a condition caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the extremities, especially the feet. It’s typically caused by reduced kidney function. Physical therapy can help gout patients restore range of motion in the affected area and even reduce the buildup of the acidic crystals that accumulate in the joints.

Arthritis in Athletes

According to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, about 30 percent of elite male athletes who engage in contact sports such as football will develop arthritis in the knees and hips. That’s compared to about 19 percent of the general public. The wear and tear on the joints that results from high-contact sports increases the likelihood of developing arthritis. Soccer and handball players were found to be twice as “at risk” of arthritis later in life, and hockey players are three times as likely to develop arthritis.

Arthritis Medications

Depending on the type of arthritis that a person has, doctors may prescribe NSAID pain relievers, corticosteroids, antirheumatic drugs or antibiotics. All of these carry a risk of side effects, and some can be extremely serious. NSAIDs can lead to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack or stroke. Corticosteroids can contribute to cataracts, cause high blood sugar levels or even contribute to bone loss — which is terrible when you consider that the patient is already dealing with arthritis!

Physical Therapy for Arthritis

The goals when working with a physical therapist for arthritis treatment will include preserving a good range of motion, increasing strength to reduce stress on the joints, and other natural treatment options. Here are some of the benefits of working with our physical therapists:

  • Your physical therapist will work with you to control your weight through exercise and diet. Controlling your weight helps to prevent added stress on weight-bearing joints.
  • Posture work will help to reduce stress on your joints.
  • Light exercises and stretching will help to increase range of motion in the affected areas.
  • Your physical therapist will also recommend a schedule for rest and sleep to complement your exercises. This helps the body to heal and hopefully reduce arthritic inflammation and pain.

Every treatment regimen is different based on your body’s needs and your particular type of arthritis. The best way to get started on a med-free treatment through physical therapy is by calling and scheduling an appointment with one of our Kenner, LA therapists.

Tips to Treat Your Arthritis Pain

If you are like the one in four American adults who suffer from arthritis symptoms, you are looking for options for managing the day to day aches and pains and often debilitating loss of mobility.  Fortunately, there are many things you can do that, when combined with physical therapy, can improve your strength, increase your flexibility and help you manage your arthritis symptoms. While these tips are helpful, they work best when paired with professional treatment, call Babin Physical Therapy today to learn how we can help you live pain-free!

Weight Loss

Since many arthritis symptoms are exacerbated by obesity, weight loss is one of the most effective ways to manage those symptoms without medication. Fortunately, physical therapists are adept at creating weight loss or weight maintenance programs that take pressure off of your joints and increase blood flow for nutrient delivery throughout your entire body.

Time for New Shoes

Many people overlook the effects of footwear on arthritis of the knee. Whether it is special purchasing special footwear or adding insoles or orthotics into your existing shoes, this simple fix can help immediately relieve the pressure on the weight-bearing joints of your lower body. As an added bonus, the correct footwear makes it easier to walk or exercise without pain.

Hot & Cold, Hot & Cold

When it comes to arthritis, temperature matters. Many people discover that a warm bath or heat pack helps ease arthritis aches and pains. Others find that cold packs applied on a regular basis reduce swelling in the joints and relieve discomfort. Alternating between the two has been shown to provide the soothing comfort of heat with the anti-inflammatory properties of cold. However, it is important to consult with a medical professional about the proper procedures for applying both heat and cold in order to avoid skin irritation.

Exercise

As tempting as it is to “rest” when you are uncomfortable, there is nothing better for managing arthritis than exercising on a regular basis. However, many people are reluctant to begin an exercise program with arthritis for fear of injuring themselves. Physical therapy can not only help you discover the exercise program that is right for your condition, it can provide you with a long-term solution to your arthritis symptoms. Your physical therapist will show you proper technique, a variety of exercises and how to wear appropriate accessories like braces or wraps if necessary.

Arthritis should not stop you from living the life you deserve. The combination of physical therapy, a weight loss program, heat and cold, and footwear can help you manage your day-to-day discomfort for the rest of your life. Contact Babin Physical Therapy today to get started on your personalized physical therapy program and start enjoying a symptom-free life!

Arthritis Pain Sufferer? Find Out How to Stop the Pain & Get Relief

Arthritis pain is a common and growing problem for many Americans today. According to recent statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoarthritis (OA), is the most common type of arthritis and now afflicts at least 13.9% of the adult population, aged 25 or older. OA and other types of arthritis are serious degenerative diseases, characterized by the wearing away of joint cartilage over time. As the cartilage wears away, the affected joint experiences pain and damage when unprotected bone surfaces rub together. This damage leads to:

  • poor tissue strength
  • inflammation
  • bone spurs
  • pain
  • muscle weakness
  • joint flexibility issues
  • mobility issues

Because this type of arthritis causes physical changes in the cartilage, joints and bones, it can cause debilitating pain, along with stiffness and swelling that can make normal activities painful and difficult. As a degenerative disease, osteoarthritis is implicated in more than 47% of the total arthritis-related hospitalizations due to arthritis, many of which involve joint replacement procedures to help relieve symptoms.

 

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Arthritis?

 

Many people begin experiencing symptoms of arthritis years before being formally diagnosed and attempt to treat these early symptoms through over-the-counter drugs, massage and herbal remedies. By failing to seek medical treatment and physical therapy early, more damage results and the arthritis symptoms continue to worsen. Common early symptoms often include:

  • experiencing pain when performing normal daily activities
  • experiencing stiffness or a limited range of motion
  • unexplained swelling or tenderness
  • balance issues
  • intermittent pain
  • difficulties in completing normal daily tasks, such as dressing, lifting household items and work-related activities

 

What Can Arthritis Sufferers Do to Lessen the Pain and Improve Quality of Life?

 

Since arthritis pain often flares in response to stress and exertion, arthritis sufferers can help prevent painful flare-ups by:

  • using care and proper techniques when lifting heavy objects, such as flexing the knees and using both hands to lift, instead of just one
  • doing frequent stretches to help keep joints supple and flexible
  • exercising to strengthen the muscles that help to support and protect the affected joints
  • drink enough water daily to ensure that the body’s tissues, joints and cartilage remain properly hydrated
  • avoid eating foods that are known to cause inflammation, such as soft drinks, fried foods, sweets, processed foods and salty snacks
  • have arthritis pain medically evaluated and treated, instead of relying on increasing amounts of OTC pain relievers which can have serious side effects
  • consider physical therapy to increase mobility and decrease pain before symptoms become debilitating

How Can Physical Therapy Help With Arthritis Pain?

 

When arthritis pain strikes, people often unconsciously adjust or make small, but important changes in the way they move to avoid or lessen the pain and discomfort. Joints and muscles that are not used as fully may then become even stiffer and more inflamed, creating a vicious circle of pain that further aggravates and increases the arthritis symptoms.

 

Physical therapists are specifically trained to understand the way each bit of human cartilage, bone and muscle are designed and how to help them work more smoothly to relieve arthritis pain, stiffness and swelling. High quality physical therapy administered by trained professionals helps arthritis sufferers improve muscle strength, increase joint mobility and maintain joint health. To find out more about how physical therapy can help you lessen arthritis pain and increase your mobility, as well as get answers to specific questions about arthritis and the effects it has on the human body, contact Babin Physical Therapy today. Our goal is to increase your quality of life!

How to Treat Arthritis Pain

You have more options than ever for the day to day aches and pains of arthritis in the current generation of medicine. When combined with professionally monitored physical therapy, you can use all of the following tips to relieve the symptoms of arthritis while improving the strength and the mobility of your muscles.

A Program of Weight Loss

In many cases, arthritis is either caused or exacerbated by the condition of obesity. Your physical therapy will certainly include a program of weight loss or maintenance so that you can take the pressure off of your joints and free up the flow of blood and nutrients to your entire body.

Changing Your Footwear

It is especially important to note your footwear if you have arthritis of the knee. Your medical professional should be able to suggest special footwear or insoles that will help to relieve the immediate pressure of arthritis on your lower body weight bearing joints and improve your walking at the same time.

One of the most important suggestions to consider if it is given is a knee brace. Osteoarthritis that occurs with knee instability is one of the more debilitating and aggravating conditions that can be caused by the arthritis condition. You will also reduce your risk of further injury by falling if you correct your walking patterns with a knee brace.

Using Heat and Cold to Your Advantage

There are many ways to use variable temperatures to your advantage when it comes to arthritis. Something as simple as a warm bath or the use of a heat pack will give you relief of arthritis pain over time; however, other people may find that relief from cold packs. You may be able to reduce your pain even more by alternating the two. Your medical professional will be able to properly guide you through the trial and error to give you the solution that is best for you.

Exercise

Nothing is better for an arthritis program than to change your life by exercising on a consistent basis. Overall, any physical therapy program is meant to change your lifestyle, not provide a short term solution. Your physical therapist will be able to help you with the technique of exercising, but it is up to you to do those exercises every day once you have been taught.

An exercise program that is properly implemented will help you to reduce the pain of arthritis while improving your muscular strength, helping to reduce the instance of arthritis in the future.

A Strong Self Management Program

Your professional therapy program will equip you with ongoing techniques and new habits that you should put to work for yourself in your every day life. However, you must keep your eyes open and listen for the techniques that work for you. Take physical notes during the process.

Do not let arthritis stop you from enjoying life. We can help you develop a plan that you can take on consistently. You will be able to reduce your day to day pain and develop habits that will improve your body overall, not just relieve symptoms. Please contact Babin Physical Therapy as soon as you can so that we can get started on your program. We have answers for you; all that we really need is your permission to get started!