For someone with arthritis, the first instinct might be to curl up in pain, because it’s just too difficult to be active with stiff, swollen, sore joints.
But activity can be one of the best things to help arthritis – to keep the body moving and making it stronger and more flexible and physical therapy can be a key component to doing that.
The goal of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Arthritis Management Program is to reduce pain, increase strength and flexibility and prevent unnecessary disability. With help from a physical therapist, patients can face the daily challenges of living with arthritis with tips and tools to conserve energy, protect joints, manage pain and simplify everyday tasks.
Exercise and movement can be a key component of the program. A physical therapist can not only make sure you are doing exercises properly, but they can also ensure you know what exercises will be beneficial for your unique needs.
Physical therapists often teach people with arthritis a variety of exercises so that on those days when part of your body hurts – you can then work on a different, less painful part of the body.
Any movement, no matter how small, can help someone with arthritis. In the end, you’ll feel better.
Find a physical therapy clinic near you and make your own appointment today to get and keep moving pain free.
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What to expect from a physical therapist:
Yes! Even when living with arthritis, exercise is important and your physical therapist will guide you through how and what to do.
Even doing simple hand exercises can help someone with arthritis, since arthritis often starts in the hands before moving to other joints. Learning specific exercises can help keep the fingers loose and limber enough to do simple tasks like cooking, writing and tying shoes without pain.
When the knees hurt, work on seated wrist and arm exercises, such as bicep curls. Range-of-motion exercises such as raising your arms above your head and rolling your shoulders forward and backward can be done to relieve stiffness and keep joints loose.
A physical therapist may have you work with elastic exercise bands and teach you the best way to use them.
People living with arthritis may also get enormous for swimming or aquatic therapy, which is often a great go-to exercise for those with painful joints, since the water’s buoyancy relives pressure.
If tolerated, even aerobic activity is recommended. Weight-bearing activities help build and strengthen bone as well as the muscles around the joints. Aerobic activity can also help reduce the risk of other problems such as heart disease, diabetes and weight gain that can become exacerbated from inactivity, leading to even more pain.
Simple walking can be good for someone with arthritis, as well as yoga, tai chi, dance and using a stationary bicycle. You might have to experiment to find the right activity for you.
The bonus of any exercise program? Exercise helps give you more energy to get through the day, helps with depression and helps you sleep better at night.
Many of the physical therapists at Tidewater Physical Therapy Inc. hold Direct Access Certification through the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy allowing them to evaluate and treat patients without a prescription. As part of your healthcare team, a physical therapist will make an assessment of your condition and create a plan to start you on the road to wellness. Our team will communicate with your physician of record and obtain a referral, if necessary, for your continued treatment. We will also work with your insurance carrier to make sure services are covered by your plan.
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