by Dr. Michael Baranov, PT, April 25, 2015
Arthritis Treatment Fresh Meadows – Should I See a PT or OT?
People with arthritis will often times steer clear of movements that cause further pain. Lack of use causes joint stiffness and the terrible cycle of pain and loss of motion begins. Moreover, if you don’t move and are no longer active, you are more susceptible to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Studies have shown that what brings people in for physical and occupational therapy is their inability to perform daily tasks. If you find yourself limited and frustrated, we can help you if you need arthritis treatment Fresh Meadows area.
What is the difference between physical and occupational therapy?
Physical therapy focuses on treating the injury itself. A physical therapist will help you work out stiffness without additional distress to the joint. Occupational therapy will teach you how to lower the stress on your joints while doing daily chores and activities. There are ways to change your movements and thereby reduce the strain on painful joints.
Contact us at MBF Rehabilitation and begin to benefit today in the following ways.
Change begins with education. Let’s review exactly what the American Physical Therapy Association says about arthritis treatment provided by physical therapists and what it consists of:
Your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment program specific to the exact nature of your condition and your goals.
Range of Motion
Often, abnormal motion of the knee joint can lead to a progression of OA when there is more contact between, and wear on, the bones. Your therapist will assess your motion compared with expected normal motion and the motion of the knee on your uninvolved leg.
Strengthening the muscles around your knee will be an essential part of your rehabilitation program. Individuals with OA who adhere to strengthening programs have been shown to have less pain and an improved overall quality of life. There are several factors that influence the health of a joint: the quality of the cartilage that lines the bones, the tissue within and around the joints, and the associated muscles. Due to the wear and tear on cartilage associated with knee OA, maintaining strength in the muscles near the joint is crucial to preserve joint health. For example, as the muscles along the front and back of your thigh (quadriceps and hamstrings), cross the knee joint, they help control the motion and forces that are applied to the bones.
Strengthening the hip and core muscles also can help balance the amount of force on the knee joint, particularly during walking or running. The “core” refers to the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and pelvis. A strong core will increase stability through your body as you move your arms and legs. Your physical therapist will assess these different muscle groups, compare the strength in each limb, and prescribe specific exercises to target your areas of weakness.
Physical therapists are trained in manual (hands-on) therapy. Your physical therapist will gently move and mobilize your muscles and joints to improve their motion, flexibility, and strength. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own. In patients with knee OA, the addition of manual therapy techniques to exercise has been shown to decrease pain and increase function.
Your physical therapist may recommend therapeutic modalities, such as ice and heat, to aid in pain management.
Compressive sleeves placed around the knee may help reduce pain and swelling. Devices such as realignment braces are used to modify the forces placed on the knee. These braces can help “unload” certain areas of your knee and move contact to less painful areas of the joint during weight-bearing activities.
Physical therapists are trained to understand how to prescribe exercises to individuals with injuries or pain. Since OA is a progressive disease, it is important to develop a specific plan to perform enough activity to address the problem while avoiding increases in stress on the knee joint. Activity must be prescribed and monitored based on type, frequency, duration, and intensity, with adequate time allotted for rest and recovery. Your physical therapist will consider the stage and extent of your arthritis and prescribe an individualized exercise program to address your needs and maximize the function of your knee.
Reference: APTA Move Forward PT website: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=e46bb793-4cfa-48ec-9821-ceba2d4c54ab#.VTrkgSFVhBc
We will help you gain a better understanding of the type of arthritis you have and the best approach to treatment.
Learn the techniques that reduce inflammation and pain such as rest, when to apply ice or heat, and proper and effective exercises that should be done daily.
Become aware of controlling your weight so you can lesson the stress placed on weight bearing joints like hips and knees.
Build strength and gain flexibility.
When you begin therapy, you will regain some of the control in life that your arthritis had taken from you. Don’t get discouraged, give your body time to respond to daily exercises.
We understand your pain, you don’t have to face it alone.
Call us today!