Do you have more trouble getting dressed or penning handwritten notes than you once did? Are you having trouble keeping up with basic demands of your job? Do you look for excuses to withdraw from some of your favorite activities simply because it hurts to move? Joint pain can turn even the most routine tasks into dreaded chores — or make them totally impossible to perform at all. You need to address this issue before it gets so bad that you can’t do anything. Fortunately, you can get much of the help you need through physical therapy. Our physical therapist can help you optimize your mobility without drugs or surgery, so contact us today!
Understanding Joint Pain
If you’ve ever ruptured a joint ligament or fractured a bone in a joint, you probably experienced a lot of pain over a set, limited time period. This is known as acute joint pain. But in some ways, chronic joint pain can be much more debilitating as it haunts you for months after month, and year after year. This kind of joint pain is commonly caused or worsened by:
- Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a progressive, usually age-related degeneration of the cartilage that normally cushions a joint’s bone ends.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by abnormal immune system responses that attack the linings of joints, producing bouts of swelling, pain, stiffness, and joint damage.
- Non-ergonomic working conditions – An improperly-positioned workstation or other awkward workplace arrangements can force your body into stressful, painful positions.
- Excess weight – The heavier you are, the more pressure your weight-bearing joints must withstand. These pressures can lead to premature joint deterioration and joint tissue strain.
- Musculoskeletal imbalances – If your muscles suffer from uneven development, you may be unable to sustain a symmetrical posture. This can create muscle spasms and trigger points that refer pain to the joints.
- Degenerative disc disease – Age-related bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and other spinal changes can cause serious joint pain in the neck or back.
How Joint Pain Hurts Your Life
Joint pain isn’t just annoying; it can be downright disabling or even dangerous. If, for example, you can’t reliably turn your head to see traffic, you could easily end up in auto accident. Stiff joints that affect stance and gait can increase your risk of falls. Simply buttoning your shirt, cooking a meal, or writing a check may be beyond you. Joint pain needs to be slowed, arrested, or reversed so you can continue to live the life you want.
Physical Therapy Helps Joint Join
Most cases of joint pain will respond to conservative, non-surgical forms of care. But not all such forms of care are equally useful. For example, you may have already noticed that pain-relieving drugs only go so far to ease your symptoms, while doing nothing to address their causes.
That’s where physical therapy shines. Our physical therapist can help your joints function more normally, improving your musculoskeletal health, with greater pain-free freedom of motion as a natural result. Physical therapy options for joint pain include:
- Walking, swimming, or cycling exercises to keep your joints moving
- Strength training to build up the strength in your joints’ supporting tissues
- Stretches to increase your joint flexibility
- Massage, heat and ice therapy to control joint pain and inflammation without drugs
- Lifestyle/ergonomic recommendations to help you perform daily tasks more comfortably
Want to get your everyday life back? Call our physical therapist today!