Joint Pains Can Cause Hindrances to Your Daily Life - Physical Therapy Can Help

June 20th, 2021

Living with Joint Pains? Consult with a Physical Therapist

Do you have more trouble getting around during the day than you once did? Are you having trouble keeping up with the basic demands of your job? Do you look for excuses to withdraw from some of your favorite activities simply because it hurts to move? Joint pains can turn even the most routine tasks into dreaded chores - or make them totally impossible to perform at all. You need to address this issue before it gets so bad that you can't do anything.

Fortunately, you can get much of the help you need through physical therapy. Our physical therapist can help you optimize your mobility without drugs or surgery, so contact us today!

Physical therapy and joint pains - how can it help?

Most cases of joint pain will respond to conservative, non-surgical forms of care. But not all such forms of care are equally useful.

For example, you may have already noticed that pain-relieving drugs only go so far as to ease your symptoms, while doing nothing to address their causes.

Our physical therapist can help your joints function more normally, improving your musculoskeletal health, with greater pain-free freedom of motion as a natural result. Physical therapy options for joint pain include:

  • Strength training to build up the strength in your joints' supporting tissues
  • Lifestyle/ergonomic recommendations to help you perform daily tasks more comfortably
  • Massage, as well as heat and ice therapy to control joint pain and inflammation without drugs
  • Walking, swimming, or cycling exercises to keep your joints moving
  • Stretches to increase your joint flexibility

During your first visit with a physical therapist, be prepared to talk about your symptoms. If your doctor has already diagnosed the condition that is causing your joint pain, your physical therapist should know this.

Your therapist will need to know about the type of joint pain you are experiencing, the times of day when the pain is worse, and any physical activities that you engage in on a regular basis (for example, do you have a job that requires physical labor or sitting at a desk all day or are you retired and less active?).

Your therapist will likely run you through a series of simple tests during your first visit. These will be done to test your range of motion, balance, and posture. This information will be used to help create a customized physical therapy regimen to help you relieve the joint pain while strengthening muscles to help support the joints.

Your plan of physical therapy will likely contain a combination of body mechanics work, exercises, and manual therapy. Body mechanics involves teaching you the proper way to move, sit, stand, lift objects and engage in other daily activities, without causing pain to your joints.

The exercises will likely be low-impact to relieve pressure on the joints while strengthening your muscles, such as water aerobics. Manual therapy is a specialized type of therapeutic massage that your physical therapist is trained in; manual therapy can help to soften tissues and relieve pain associated with your joint condition.

Are you experiencing these symptoms of joint pains?

Joint pains arent just annoying; they can be downright disabling or even dangerous.

If, for example, you can't reliably turn your head to see traffic, you could easily end up in an auto accident. Stiff joints that affect stance and gait can increase your risk of falls.

Simply buttoning your shirt, cooking a meal, or writing a check may be beyond you. Joint pain needs to be slowed and reversed so you can continue to live the life you want!

Could one of these conditions be causing your joint pains?

If you've ever ruptured a joint ligament or fractured a bone in a joint, you probably experienced a lot of pain over a set, limited time period.

This is known as acute joint pain. But in some ways, chronic joint pain can be much more debilitating as it haunts you for months after month, and year after year.

This kind of joint pain is commonly caused or worsened by:

  • Osteoarthritis - Osteoarthritis is a progressive, usually age-related degeneration of the cartilage that normally cushions a joint's bone ends.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by abnormal immune system responses that attack the linings of joints, producing bouts of swelling, pain, stiffness, and joint damage.
  • Non-ergonomic working conditions - An improperly-positioned workstation or other awkward workplace arrangements can force your body into stressful, painful positions.
  • Excess weight - The heavier you are, the more pressure your weight-bearing joints must withstand. These pressures can lead to premature joint deterioration and joint tissue strain.
  • Musculoskeletal imbalances - If your muscles suffer from uneven development, you may be unable to sustain asymmetrical posture. This can create muscle spasms and trigger points that refer pain to in the joints.
  • Degenerative disc disease - Age-related bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and other spinal changes can cause serious joint pain in the neck or back.

Why is physical therapy better than surgery for joint pains?

According to Harvard Health Publishing,

“Trying physical therapy before opting for surgery may be the better choice. You may be able to spare yourself the expense, pain, and recovery time of surgery, says physical therapist Karen Weber, clinical supervisor at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Outpatient Centers in Braintree and Quincy, Mass.

There is growing evidence supporting that idea. In the past few years, studies have indicated that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery for relieving pain and restoring function for people with arthritis in their knees or backs.”

Ready to find relief?

Want to get your everyday life back? Call our physical therapist today!