Do your joints hurt often? Have you caught yourself groaning in pain when performing certain actions because they cause your “bad knee” or “bad wrist” to act up? You just may have chronic joint pain caused by arthritis, and you’re not alone! More than 22% of American adults (over 52.5 million people) have arthritis or another rheumatic condition.
If you’re suffering from joint pain or arthritis, call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists. Our clinic can help alleviate your joint pain so you can get moving comfortably once again, unhindered by your pain.
What is chronic joint pain?
The joints are what form the connections between bones and help provide movement. Joint pain is highly common. In one survey, 30 percent of adults reported having joint pain within the past month. Knee, shoulder and hip joint pain are the most common.
Joint pain can occur in any area of the joint, including the muscles, tendons, bone, cartilage and ligaments. This pain can be mild or severe, but if it lasts for several weeks or months, it becomes chronic. When this happens, it’s time to contact a physical therapist for help.
Common causes of joint pain
The body’s immune system can attack the membrane of the joints, causing inflammation and pain.
The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs slowly and forms overtime. It tends to affect the hips, knees, hands and wrists. It’s also very common in individuals over 40. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that is caused when a person’s immune system malfunctions. Although it is more common in women, it affects over 1 million Americans. It causes fluid buildup, pain and inflammation. According to Mayoclinic, this condition can also “damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.”
Other causes of chronic joint pain include:
- Overuse of a joint
The symptoms associated with chronic joint pain are joint swelling, joint tenderness, joint redness, locking of the joint, loss of range of motion of the joint, weakness, stiffness and limping.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you don’t rely on over-the-counter medications or harmful addictive opioids to relieve your pain. You also shouldn’t hold your breath and hope the pain disappears on its own! Contacting a physical therapist as soon as possible is in your best interest.
How can physical therapy help relieve joint pain?
Physical therapy can not only help to reduce the pain, swelling, and stiffness of joint pain and knee osteoarthritis, but it can also help to improve overall knee joint function. It can also make it easier for you to walk, bend, kneel, squat and sit down without trouble.
Physical therapists are trained movement specialists who know how the body works and are experts at not only treating your pain, but also finding the cause of it. If you choose to visit our office for an appointment, one of our therapists will conduct a thorough analysis of your condition as well as ask you questions about your medical history. They’ll also create a unique treatment plan that is specific to your condition and needs.
They may elect to use both passive and active treatments for chronic joint pain. Passive treatments include cold therapy, heat therapy and hydrotherapy. Cold therapy reduces inflammation by reducing circulation and heat therapy increases blood flow and decreases stiffness.
Hydrotherapy is a gentle exercise in the water that helps facilitate motion. Many patients find that this is one of the best methods of treatment for joint pain, as the resistance and soothing effects water offers can aid in recovery.
Besides utilizing these methods, a physical therapist will also have you engage in specific strengthening and flexibility exercises during a session and at home. These exercises increase range of motion and make the joints stronger. They are very effective for reducing pain and increasing mobility!
It’s important to remember that your therapist’s ultimate goal is to see you through to the end of your treatment and make sure you understand how to maintain your strength and keep pain symptoms at bay long after your in-office visits come to a close.
We’re excited to meet you!
If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain, don’t hesitate to call St. Luke’s Physical Therapy and schedule a one-on-one consultation and evaluation. One of our skilled physical therapists will review your medical history and perform specific tests to measure your stability and range of motion. Our goal here is to help you achieve the highest possible level of fitness and health, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.
- Arthritis Prevalence and Statistics – Verywell Healthwww.verywellhealth.com › Health A-Z › Arthritis https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353648