Physical Therapy Offers a Drug-Free Path to Pain Relief
Are you becoming increasingly frustrated with your arthritis pain? If so, you aren’t alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 54 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis.
At Progressive Sports Medicine, we understand how difficult it can be to manage arthritis. No one wants to deal with chronic pain and intense symptoms. If arthritis has completely altered your daily routine, contact us today. Our skilled team of movement experts will develop a plan to tackle your pain head-on.
Why opioids are not the answer
If you are at a loss for managing your debilitating arthritis pain, you may be considering turning to prescription drugs or opioids. However, the use of long-term pain medication is nowhere near risk-free. Because arthritis is not a condition that heals on its own, solely drug-based treatment plans have a high risk of ending in addiction.
Moreover, pain medications do not truly relieve inflammation or address the problem that is causing arthritis pain. This sets up a dangerous cycle where as soon as an individual stops taking medication, they are likely to begin experiencing all the pain and discomfort all over again.
The good news is that prescription medications and opioid drugs are not your only option for relief from arthritis pain. Alternative strategies, including physical therapy, can provide long-lasting, safe, and natural pain relief.
If you’re interested in learning more about how this is possible, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed physical therapists.
So, how can a physical therapist improve my arthritis pain?
A physical therapist can help you control and reduce your arthritis pain without the use of medications. As your physical therapist improves your joint health using various therapeutic measures, they may help you avoid common surgeries including complete knee replacements or total hip replacements.
Some the methods physical therapists may use to treat your arthritis include:
1. Identify your source of pain. Arthritis pain can develop because of an injury or can be triggered by a number of environmental factors. Your physical therapist will help you find the source of your pain and can address the underlying injury or unhealthy environmental factors in the process.
A physical therapist may ask you questions about the ergonomics of your workspace and make suggestions for ways you can improve your body mechanics and posture. They can also recommend assistive devices like walkers, crutches, canes, walkers, and shoe insoles to help you manage your arthritis pain.
2. Increasing your range of motion. Arthritis is defined as the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis include joint pain and stiffness.
Painful symptoms and tightness can severely limit your range of motion. For example, you may experience pain as you attempt to sit if you have arthritis in your knees or hips. It might also be difficult to write or lift heavy items if you’ve developed arthritis in the hands, wrists, or shoulders.
Your physical therapist can help target your areas of pain, improve your range of motion, and optimize your joint health and functionality in the process.
3. Strength training. Stronger muscles can support joints more effectively. If your muscles have atrophied as a result of injury or lack of use, this could be placing added pressure on your joints.
Strengthening your muscles can help improve joint functionality, which will decrease the level of pain associated with joint movement. Be mindful, however, that attempting to improve muscle mass in areas affected by arthritis pain without the guidance of a physical therapist or doctor is not recommended.
A physical therapist will prescribe you safe exercises that will help you gain muscle mass while reducing your chance of injury.
4. Gain access to specialized pain-relieving treatments. Overuse of particular joints can lead to inflammation and arthritis pain. In many cases, arthritis pain will develop and worsen as a result of the improper way a joint is being used.
A physical therapist will identify the cause of your arthritis, and pinpoint which everyday physical movements you perform may be contributing to your pain. Once you and your therapist have a better understanding of the reason for your pain, you will be prescribed specialized pain-relieving treatments. Our physical therapists employ a variety of non-invasive treatments to complement the therapeutic effects of strength training and improving unhealthy environmental factors. These may include the following:
- Cold laser therapy
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Electrical stimulation, including TENS units
- Cold or hot therapy, including cold packs or paraffin wax
- Dry needling
Tired of arthritis pain disrupting your life? You can find relief with physical therapy!
Far too many people believe that being diagnosed with arthritis means they’ll be in pain for the rest of their lives, but this does NOT have to be the case.
Safe, long-lasting relief from arthritis is attainable with physical therapy. If you’ve been waiting in vain for your pain to end, contact Progressive Sports Medicine. Our team is ready to help you, all you have to do now is call our clinic to set up an appointment!