Unraveling Arthritis: Physical Therapy’s Impact Unveiled

Arthritis is a general term for pain and inflammation in the joints. The two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when your immune system attacks the cartilage in your joints, and osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage breaks down over time. There are several standard treatments for arthritis, of which physical therapy Georgetown TX is one.

Supportive Strategies for Daily Life

There are things you can do to make it easier to live with arthritis pain. You can start by determining which joints are the most painful and which seem to be the strongest. You can then modify your activities to avoid putting stress on your most painful joints. For example, if one of your legs is stronger than the other, use the strong one to walk up steps. Use your shoulder or the side of your arm to open a heavy door rather than your hands and fingers.

Prolonged inactivity can cause your joints to stiffen up. If you are going to be sitting for a while, make a point of standing up and stretching every 15 minutes. Set a timer to remind yourself if you have to. Physical therapy can teach you good stretching exercises to do.

Consider having your home upgraded to install devices to make your life safer and easier. For example, you may want to have your bathtub or shower equipped with a seat or a grab bar to prevent falls. Casters installed on your furniture make it easier to move it around for housecleaning.

Physical Therapy’s Role in Relief

While it is important to keep moving to avoid stiffness, it is also important not to overexert yourself or put too much pressure on your joints. A physical therapist designs an individualized exercise program especially for your needs. This is someone who once said, “I am going to train for physical therapy jobs near me,” and then put in the effort to fully qualify.

However, there’s more to physical therapy for arthritis than exercise. Your therapist may be able to recommend treatment options that would be helpful, such as orthotic inserts for your shoes or a brace for your wrists. A therapist can help you obtain assistive devices for ambulation, such as canes, crutches, or walkers, and then teach you how to use them correctly.

Physical therapists can teach you better ergonomics for performing your daily activities. In other words, they can teach you better body mechanics and train you in better posture. This helps you to move your body more efficiently, which puts less strain on your joints.

A physical therapist may even be able to advise you on what modifications to your home would be most helpful to you. For example, if you have arthritis in your feet, you may benefit from standing on a cushioned mat on your kitchen floor when preparing food. If you have low back pain while sitting at a desk, you could potentially benefit from an office chair with lumbar support.

Physical therapy is often part of a larger treatment plan that includes medications or supplements. Ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist who can help you.

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