How to treat osteoarthritis with physical therapy

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects millions of Americans every year. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, but one of the most common types is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is common because the primary cause is aging. As you age, osteoarthritis can slowly wear down the cartilage between your joints. When this happens, friction develops between the joints, which causes pain and for the bones to wear down.

If you’re experiencing pain in any of your joints, including your spine, you should visit a healthcare professional for a diagnosis. He or she can examine your symptoms and review your medical history to determine if you’re being affected by osteoarthritis.

Treating osteoarthritis with physical therapy

Doctors may prescribe medication or injections to treat pain caused by osteoarthritis. However, many prefer to send patients to physical therapists for treatment.

Physical therapists can treat osteoarthritis without the use of drugs or invasive procedures. Physical therapy treatments are customized to your individual needs. Depending on the cause of your condition and its severity, your physical therapy treatment may include:

  • Manual therapy — Physical therapists can mobilize the joints into positions that reduce pain and tension. There are several forms of manual therapy that can be used in your treatment, including soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization and strain-counterstrain.

  • Stretches and exercises — Stretching and exercising the muscles and soft tissue can reduce pressure off the joints. This helps reduce pain and provide better support for other parts of your body.

  • Weight loss guidance — Being overweight puts more pressure on your bones and joints. This aggravates the symptoms of osteoarthritis, which can cause more pain and for the disease to develop more quickly. Physical therapists can develop a weight loss routine to help you reach an ideal weight and reduce pressure off the joints.

Visit Holland Physical Therapy for osteoarthritis treatment

Regardless of where in your body osteoarthritis is affecting you, physical therapists can help. At Holland Physical Therapy, our physical therapists use these techniques and many more to reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an initial appointment.