If you have Osteoarthritis (OA), you probably have enough pain sometimes that you don’t want to move at all. One thing every patient with OA should remember is that the best solution for OA is movement. Movement increases blood flow, maintains mobility, and strengthens muscles. Unfortunately, many patient with OA instinctively decrease their activity in response to the pain.Patients with OA often present with very distinct signs. By definition an arthritic joint will be inflamed. A patient with arthritis in the knee will have a bulbous, or larger than normal knee. There will be decreased movement (ROM) at the affected joint. So that same knee will be unable to straighten all the way and probably won’t bend much beyond 90 degrees. Lastly, the muscles that control the movement of the joint will be weak. Quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles are the primary suspects with knee OA and hip and core muscles are usually weakened as well. As a result, people with OA experience pain in the affected joint and have a difficult time performing normal daily activities.Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? You say you need help with inflammation, ROM, and strength.....then a PT is the right person for the job. We are the experts at decreasing inflammation, increasing ROM, and strengthening muscles.We reduce inflammation with:
We restore movement with:
- Heat/cold/light modalities
- Manual techniques
We strengthen the muscles that move and support the arthritic joint with:
- Joint mobilization
- Passive ROM performed by the PT
- Active ROM performed by the patient
- Aquatic Therapy
- Non-weight bearing exercises
- Weight bearing exercise
- Functional activities
Most physical therapists treat a large population of patients with OA. We realize that our role is not to cure OA. That’s not likely to happen. Our objective is to assist the patient who has OA with the reduction of pain and restoration of function. A PT will work very closely with the patient to achieve these objectives.
After several sessions, when the patient has achieved their goals, the next phase of OA management begins. Now the patient simply needs to continue doing the exercises prescribed by their PT. They can do them at home, join a gym, or often their PT will offer an in-house Wellness program.
If you have OA, remember that the best thing you can do is move.
A PT can help you do that and get back on track to a normal painfree life.