Most people enjoy living active lives that make life exciting and fun. They find it extremely frustrating when they have pain that limits their participation in the activities they love because of osteoarthritis. They fear they will lose the ability to do the activities that keep their lives fulfilled. This fear extends into other important areas of life: work life, family life, overall energy for the day to day, and overall quality of life.
They are frustrated because as time goes on because their pain doesn’t go away. They don’t understand why things aren’t just healing naturally. Fear creeps in that they will always have pain and so they just chalk it up to age and arthritis. Sometimes their own doctors tell them their age is to blame, which in reality is NEVER the case.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis , commonly known as arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis in the population. It occurs when the protective soft tissue cartilage that protects joints wears down and naturally increases with age fairly linearly. So, as we age, we have more arthritis. However, medical research actually fails to find an association between spinal joint arthritis and the prevalence of low back pain. Therefore as we age, even though we have more arthritis, we don’t necessarily have more pain.
What pain IS strongly associated with is pain-related fear and pain catastrophizing, a heightened awareness of your body’s pain response. Hence, physical therapy treatment focused on managing your pain condition can actually help mitigate your pain and actually overcome it even if osteoarthritis is present.
Still have hope to feel young, painless, and doing the things you love? You’re in luck! Physical therapy treatment is hands-down the best treatment for osteoarthritis and is only an appointment away.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Physical therapy treatment helps to restore mobility and flexibility in joints that are affected by arthritis. Techniques include hands-on treatments and flexibility based exercises to combat stiffness. Restoring joint mobility helps joints move more freely and have a greater range of movement preventing stiffness from interfering with daily activities.
Strengthening muscles surrounding a joint affected by arthritis give the joint the strength and control required for functional activities like getting out of a chair, going up stairs or reaching up into a cabinet. Physical therapists are the experts in strength training and are the best healthcare providers to coach you through the strengthening you need, without overtraining.
Restoring joint mobility and improving strength around joints helps to minimize the compressive forces in the joint which can be aggravating for an arthritic body region. Find physical freedom from arthritis pain by consulting with an Agile Physical Therapist who specializes in osteoarthritis related pain conditions. Even with arthritis, you can enjoy the exciting and rewarding life you love PAIN-FREE!
About the Author: Laurel Mines PT, DPT, OCS
Laurel grew up on the east coast in North Carolina. She studied biology at the University of North Carolina and received her doctor of physical therapy in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. After graduating physical therapy school, Laurel traveled all over the country as a contract physical therapist before she settled here in Northern California in the Bay Area. After working in various settings, Laurel realize her love for orthopaedics. She is certified in sports taping and working towards her orthopaedic clinical specialty.
Laurel enjoys dabbling in various sports with her favorites being mountain biking, snowboarding, acroyoga, Crossfit and tennis. She enjoys treating patients with sports specific injuries as she fully understands the movement science required to return to many sports. She also enjoys hiking and paddling boarding with her dog, Koa. Laurel is a strong advocate for the field of physical therapy and writes for a health and wellness magazine.