Written by: Amy Ramos, PTA
Problem: How to Combat Joint Pain and Stiffness?
Ever feel like you are caught in a downward spiral of joint pain and stiffness, inactivity and loss of mobility, increasing pain, decreasing activity, etc.? Unfortunately, this pattern is far too common in patients suffering from the debilitating effects of arthritis. Joint pain and stiffness caused by arthritis can lead patients to a sedentary lifestyle to avoid pain. Ironically, lack of movement and exercise causes more joint pain and stiffness from lack of use. The decreased joint movement causes further degeneration of cartilage and can increase the likelihood of bone spur growth in cases of osteoarthritis. This becomes a vicious cycle leaving its victims feeling discouraged and wondering what to do.
Solution: “Motion is Lotion”
Joint pain and stiffness is one of the most common complaints that bring patients to see their doctor each year. This condition is generally treated on an outpatient basis with anti-inflammatory medications. In addition, doctors recommend exercise to strengthen muscle and counteract the effects of joint pain and stiffness. In fact, many doctors recommend physical therapy to help strengthen muscles and alleviate stiffness.
A physical therapist can teach patients proper stretching techniques and exercise routines to help combat joint pain and stiffness. This helps improve mobility, which further defends against the progression of the vicious cycle of joint pain and stiffness and decreased activity level. Physical therapists are very knowledgeable about the best exercises and at-home routines to help provide relief to patients suffering with arthritis. The main goal of physical therapy for patients with arthritis is to improve mobility and decrease both current and future debilitating pain, muscle aches, and joint stiffness that limit their activity level. Physical therapy can also delay the need for joint replacement surgery in advanced cases. Studies have shown that physical therapy can even provide more pain relief from joint pain and stiffness than medications.
Here at Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation, we use a multi-disciplined approach to combat the effects of arthritis pain and stiffness and enable our patients to maintain the most active lifestyle possible. In addition to treatment in our experienced physical therapy department, we offer various chiropractic techniques such as Power Plate programs and cold laser therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy to reduce pain and stiffness and improve functional mobility.