Using Exercise to Relieve Joint Pain and Stiffness
The joints play a critical role in the human body considering that they are involved in practically every movement a person makes. That could be something as simple as walking or as complex as playing a high intensity sport, such as basketball or football. People often forget how much they rely on their knees, elbows, and wrists right up until they experience joint pain. According to a national survey, about 1/3 of adults reported experiencing joint pain in the past 30 days. Conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, sprains, overuse, and bursitis are just some of the many reasons that a person can experience joint pain.
Depending on the location of the joint and the amount of pain that the person is experiencing, joint pain can completely debilitate a person if not properly handled. At Mid-America Orthopedics, we’re big believers in putting patients on a recovery path that is appropriate for their injury. Sometimes that can be as simple as resting the joint and using ice-heat therapy in conjunction with over-the-counter medications. Other times a person may need to undergo surgery in order to achieve joint pain relief.
What remains a constant are the positive effects we’ve seen with patients who undergo physical therapy in Kansas City.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy (also known as PT, for short) aims to relieve joint pain and discomfort by way of increasing mobility. It also strengthens joints that may have become weak or damaged. For those suffering with joints that are inflamed, engaging in PT has proven to be highly beneficial to patients who want to take a more holistic approach to their recovery. Rather than relying on medications, physical therapy has proven to be helpful in the areas of pain management, especially with those suffering from arthritis. Ideally, your physical therapy sessions will provide the joint relief you need so that you can go about your life as you normally would.
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
No two injuries or people are alike, so physical therapy sessions will be tailored specifically to you and the area(s) of concern. Starting out, your physical therapist will develop an exercise plan that is designed to increase your mobility, strength, and function of the joint that’s causing you pain. During PT, your therapist will coach you through the exact motions that you need to make to ensure that you’re using proper technique.
Additionally, a physical therapist will also suggest lifestyle changes so that you don’t inadvertently aggravate your injury. This may include splints, braces, supportive devices, or environmental modifications such as an ergonomic keyboard or cushioned seat.
What are the Types of Physical Therapy?
Since the causes of injury and immobility are varied, physical therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Currently, it’s broken down into the following categories.
Geriatric Physical Therapy: This type of physical therapy focuses on working with aging adults who may be suffering from conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, or other physical impairments related to age. Special exercise programs are developed to increase their mobility and help manage their pain levels.
Occupational Physical Therapy: Occupational PT is generally undergone by those who have been hurt at work or suffering with a repetitive use injury. For instance, a moving company employee may suffer a back injury by using the incorrect technique when lifting boxes. In this case, they would seek the help of an occupational physical therapist.
Orthopedic Physical Therapy: This type of physical therapy focuses on improving and restoring musculoskeletal function that is compromised by damaged bones, muscles, joints, tendons, or ligaments. Orthopedic PT increases mobility and strength while helping patients with pain management.
Pediatric Physical Therapy: This variety of physical therapy is reserved specifically for children who are suffering with impaired motor skills, strength, balance, or other physical disability. Usually these impairments are caused by developmental delays or birth defects – not injury.
Rehabilitation Physical Therapy: Reserved for those who are recovering from an injury or major surgery, this variety of PT is designed to help patients relearn certain bodily motions. For instance, an athlete with a broken leg would eventually undergo rehabilitation physical therapy.
Contact Mid-America Orthopedics to Schedule Your Physical Therapy Appointment
If you are currently suffering with joint pain or discomfort, physical therapy may be the quickest path to rebuilding your strength and mobility. Here at Mid-America Orthopedics Kansas City, we’ve worked with many patients over the years who have seen vast improvement in their joints and pain management by working with our experienced team of physical therapists. In the event that physical therapy doesn’t work, rest assured that Mid-America Orthopedics has some of the best orthopedic doctors in the Kansas City area. Physical therapists at MAO are excellent at helping patients regain their function after injury.
The best way to get started is by contacting the team at Mid-America Orthopedics to set up a consultation. Click here to schedule an appointment with us.