How Physical Therapy Eases Arthritis Pain and Improves Mobility

May 01, 2023
How Physical Therapy Eases Arthritis Pain and Improves Mobility
In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, let’s explore the many outstanding benefits of physical therapy for arthritic pain and mobility issues.

Arthritis can ravage the joints it affects over time, which causes pain and limits your mobility. At times, it might feel like larger joints like your hips, knees, or shoulders aren’t salvageable and that you’ll have a limited function for the rest of your life. 

Thanks to modern advancements in arthritis care, this isn’t usually the case. In fact, you most likely won’t even need surgery to restore a significant amount of function to your joints while reducing your joint pain in the process. 

Physical therapy (PT) is one of the most valuable tools for managing arthritis-related pain and mobility limitations. Pain management experts Haddis T. Hagos, MD, and Brent Earls, MD, conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the type of arthritis you have and the extent of its damage to your painful and dysfunctional joints. At Pain Management Associates LLC in Greenbelt, Maryland, you can get personalized care and support while living with arthritis. 

May is arthritis awareness month, and in its honor, we’ll review physical therapy as a top strategy for arthritis management plans. Here’s what you can expect from physical therapy for arthritis no matter which type you have:

Setting your goals

One of the many perks of physical therapy compared to other treatments and pain management strategies is the ability to personalize it. Before you start physical therapy, you set obtainable goals that you’ll work toward during your weekly sessions. 

Physical therapy helps you:

  • Improve joint mobility
  • Increase strength
  • Reduce pain
  • Maintain your independence
  • Maintain your physical fitness
  • Improve posture
  • Increase endurance

Setting objective goals helps you stay motivated and measure your progress as you engage in chronic care. 

Best physical therapy strategies for arthritis

Customized physical therapy involves a blend of different exercises, movements, and equipment-based practices. The techniques you use depend on the severity of your arthritic pain and immobility as well as your personal goals and overall health. 

To determine which strategies are most useful in your case, your providers evaluate you with a series of functional tests. They assess your posture, balance, strength, and general body mechanics. 

With all this information, they plan your physical therapy sessions using both active and passive PT strategies:

Active physical therapy

Active physical therapy involves intentional movements that require effort on your part. You might use equipment, such as weight machines, resistance bands, or exercise balls, or you might perform stretches and exercises without assistive devices. 

Passive physical therapy

Instead of putting forth your own effort, passive physical therapy involves processes that act upon you. Some examples are electrotherapy, massage therapy, and joint mobilization.

Making the most of your PT care plan

Physical therapy for any purpose works best within a comprehensive care plan among other treatments. Your arthritis care plan at Pain Management Associates LLC might also involve:

  • Joint injections
  • Orthotics or braces
  • Nerve blocks
  • Medications
  • Activity modifications

Joint replacements and other surgeries are options when conservative therapies cannot adequately improve your joint comfort and mobility.

Get started with physical therapy for arthritis today. Call Pain Management Associates LLC for a consultation or schedule an appointment online today.