How Does Physical Therapy Help Arthritis?
Physical Therapy, also known as PT, is the evaluation and treatment of abnormal physical function caused by an injury, disability, or other health condition by trained professionals. Physical therapists are trained and certified movement specialists. They can diagnose and treat various injuries, disabilities, and illnesses.
Physical therapists work to improve a person’s range of motion and quality of life while also preventing further injury or disability. Licensed Physical therapists work in various healthcare settings, including private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home health, sports and fitness settings, outpatient offices, government agencies, research centers, and occupational backgrounds.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
1. Physical Therapy Can Aid in Recovery Following a Traumatic Event
Many injuries or adverse events, such as a stroke or a car accident, can be helped by physical Therapy. A specialist can help you determine which muscle groups require attention and recommend functional exercises that target these areas. This can help patients gain strength, increase flexibility, improve their health, and sometimes even avoid surgery.
2. Physical Therapy can help you avoid aggravating your injury.
Moving incorrectly after a strain, tear, or other trauma may increase the stress on your wound. A physical therapist will evaluate your injury and teach you which movements are generally safe and which may further aggravate your pain or damage the area.
3. Physical Therapy Can Help You Improve Your Mobility and Balance
While many people associate physical Therapy with post-traumatic treatment, it can also be used as preventive care. Physical Therapy is frequently provided to elderly patients to help them move around without using walkers or canes and to help them avoid falls, which can result in broken bones and other injuries.
Why Should You Have Arthritis Physical Therapy?
A physical therapist may use a combination of strategies to achieve these objectives. A skilled physical therapist can instruct you on the following:
1. Increase or maintain joint range of motion
Osteoarthritis can cause joint stiffness. Physical Therapy can help you bend and straighten your joints. Even minor improvements in a joint’s range of motion can significantly impact joint function. Getting an arthritic knee to turn ten more degrees, for example, may allow you to get in and out of low chairs comfortably.
2. Muscles that Support an Arthritic Joint Should Be Strengthened
When osteoarthritis wears away the protective cartilage in a joint, it can cause painful friction between the joint’s bones. You can reduce friction by strengthening the muscles surrounding and supporting the joint. A skilled physical therapist can identify areas of impairment and teach you how to address these impairments with functional strengthening to improve joint strength and stability.
3. Improve Your Balance
Osteoarthritis patients frequently have impaired balance due to muscle weakness, decreased joint function, decreased mobility, and other factors. Aside from functional strengthening (mentioned above), skilled physical therapists may incorporate balance components into your treatment plan, such as changes in terrain/surface, walking distances, and elevation, to simulate daily functional tasks to improve balance and reduce your risk of falling.
Adjust Your Posture
Arthritic joints can benefit from good posture. Your physical therapist can teach you how to improve your posture and reduce joint stress as you sit, stand, and walk. This could include advice on improving your environment at home, work, and even in your car.
Simple changes, such as adjusting the position of your car seat, can reduce stress on your arthritic joint(s) and help you get through your day.
Physical Therapy for arthritis in back
Spinal arthritis is an inflammation of the spine’s facet joints or the sacroiliac joints that connect the spine to the pelvis. Wear and tear, autoimmune disorders, infection, or another condition could cause it.
Inflammation can sometimes affect the points where ligaments and tendons attach to the spine’s bones. Arthritis in the back or neck, regardless of the exact location, can be painful and often becomes chronic.
1. Physical Therapy relieves symptoms and slows the progression of spine arthritis in the following ways:
2. Heat Therapy: We may recommend hot or cold Therapy to the affected area to relieve pain and swelling.
3. Managing symptoms: Based on your specific symptoms, we develop an individualized exercise program for you at home and under supervision at the clinic. These simple exercises can help you improve mobility without risking further injury or worsening pain.
4. Improve Balance: We introduce specific movements and activities to help you improve your balance and stability to avoid trips, falls, and further injury. We also recommend a low-impact fitness routine to strengthen your spine, hips, and abdomen muscles to improve mobility and balance.
5. Stretching: We may also recommend specific stretching movements based on your physical evaluation. Trying combined with strengthening is ideal for reducing symptoms and delaying the progression of spinal arthritis.
6. Braces or taping: If you have advanced spine arthritis, we may advise you to use taping or special braces to support your joints.
7. Training for daily activities: If you have advanced arthritis or a spine condition, everyday activities can become difficult. We can teach you how to get out of bed, the bathtub, or a chair and bend and pick up objects more easily.
Exercise safety tips for people with arthritis
Exercising has numerous benefits for arthritis as long as it is done safely. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before beginning an exercise program for arthritis Trusted Source. They can suggest appropriate exercises and modifications.
- Make an effort to stretch. Warm up before each session and cool down afterward. Stretch all major muscle groups before working out, paying particular attention to joints prone to pain and stiffness.
- Take your time. Begin with short workouts, work your way up gradually, and stay within your limits. Pay attention to your body, especially if you’re experiencing a flare-up, and take as many breaks as you need. Take plenty of rest days in between workouts.
Perform low-impact exercises. These activities relieve joint stress or pressure. Swimming, aquatic Therapy, and gardening are among them. Exercises to improve strength, balance, and flexibility can also be included. Exercises that cause severe pain or worsen your symptoms, such as swelling, pain, or stiffness, should be avoided.
Can physical Therapy aggravate arthritis?
Physical Therapy seeks to improve function while alleviating arthritis symptoms. Treatment should not aggravate your symptoms or cause pain.
However, you may find some exercises difficult, especially at first. A moderate amount of muscular discomfort or soreness is average after or during a PT session.
Discuss your treatment response and pain tolerance with your physical therapist. Inform them if you experience worsening symptoms, severe pain, or difficulties during or after a session.
Your physical therapist can make the necessary changes to your treatment plan. They may employ alternative techniques or reduce the frequency and intensity of your sessions.
Is physical Therapy covered by Medicare or insurance?
Most insurance plans will cover a portion of the cost if physical therapy is deemed medically necessary. There may be a limit to the number of visits your insurance will cover.
If a doctor determines that physical Therapy is medically necessary to treat arthritis, Medicare will cover all or a portion of the costs.
According to AARP, Medicare Part A will cover all or a portion of the costs of physical therapy treatments received in an inpatient rehabilitation facility, such as a hospital, rehabilitation center, or mental health facility.
Once you have met your yearly Part B deductible, Medicare Part B will cover 80% of outpatient treatment costs.
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