Discussion about Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis -And How to Best Manage your Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is very common – its so common in fact that the Center for Disease Control and prevention reports that arthritis affects 54.4 million US adults which is about 1 in every 4 people. So, what is Arthritis? Arthritis is a condition that affects your joints. You have cartilage in your joints which help provide cushion to reduce friction and allow for painless motion. When that cartilage begins to degenerate, it results in bone on bone contact which causes grinding, pain and inflammation - especially when you move or walk. As is progresses it can even change or alter the structure of your bones.

Two very common types are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is due to general “wear and tear” which can occur over time and worsen with age. This progression can be exacerbated or progress more quickly if you experience an injury to a joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where your immune system begins to attack the lining of the joint capsule. This results in inflammation and pain. As the disease progresses the cartilage is destroyed.

Common symptoms associated with arthritis include; Pain, Stiffness, Swelling, and loss of motion. This becomes problematic because in addition to becoming less active and having a harder time doing the things you love to do, when you lead a less active sedentary lifestyle, it makes you more susceptible to other comorbidities and health issues.

Being Active is one of the 5 strategies recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help manage arthritis pain. Activities should be low impact which means they put the least amount of stress on your joints. A physical therapist can teach you which exercises are low impact, help to monitor the progression of your program to avoid any injury and protect your joints while decreasing pain. We can help to modify exercises as needed and ensure safety while progressing a plan of care as your endurance increases. Completing a program with a physical therapist is also important if you haven’t been active for a long period of time. It can be used as a first step and then you can progress to an independent program once you’re feeling better. We can help minimize joint damage by working on your posture and body mechanics so your movements throughout the day are the least stressful and most efficient for your joints.

Another benefit of exercise for pain management could mean less reliance on pain medication. An article titled “Physical Therapy for patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis: supervised, active treatment is current best practice” reported that that “exercise therapy provides at least as effective pain relief as pharmacological pain medications but without the serious adverse effects.” The article stated that exercise had at least the same level of pain relief as NSAIDs (like asprin and advil) and 2-3x the relief as acetaminophen (Tylenol) in patients with knee OA.

So, please reach out to us here at Reddy Care Physical & Occupational Therapy to help stop arthritis pain and get back to doing the things you love to do!

 

 

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772

https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html

https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/arthritis-friendly/

Physical therapy for patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis: supervised, active treatment is current best practice. Skou ST1, Roos EM2. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2019 Sep-Oct;37 Suppl 120(5):112-117. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Author
Dr. Jessica Armillay, DPT Dr. Jessica Armillay, DPT graduated from Misericordia University in 2016 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She recently relocated to New York and is very excited to continue her career as a physical therapist with Reddy Care! Jessica has been working as a physical therapist for over 2 years with the majority of time spent in an outpatient facility. Jessica enjoys treating a variety of conditions and working with many different people. Her favorite part of physical therapy is creating a relationship with patients and working to help them achieve their goals to get back to doing the things they love the most!

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