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How Physical Therapy Can Help with Arthritis

July 23, 2018



Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Arthritis is a term to describe painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints. The condition is incredibly common with elderly adults and is one of the leading causes of disability in the US. Although the condition can be painful and debilitating, physical therapy can help. Lack of movement only makes the condition worse, so by exercising and moving their joints, patients can reduce stiffness and improve their condition. 

The Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy strives to improve the patient’s physical condition and help them get back to living their everyday life without difficulty. Treatment focuses on getting their body in motion. This can be in the form of exercise, stretching, or performing everyday tasks like walking and climbing stairs. For arthritis patients, physical therapists strive to improve mobility, increase joint strength, and reduce pain and inflammation. 

What You Will Learn from a Physical Therapist  
When you start physical therapy, your physical therapist will make a customized treatment plan to meet your specific needs. Treatment will focus on improving the functionality of your muscles and reducing your arthritis symptoms. During treatment, you will learn proper body mechanics, stretch your muscles, and engage in some strength training exercises. Depending on your condition, the physical therapist may also teach you how to use a walker or a cane, and recommend lifestyle changes, such as wearing orthopedic shoes and making ergonomic changes around your home. 

A Typical Session 
Physical therapy sessions will vary depending on the patient, but arthritis patients generally perform similar exercises. For example, if you have arthritis in the knees, you will work on knee stretching exercises and strengthening exercises that build muscles around the knee. You may also perform some low-impact aerobic exercises. Most sessions include a warm-up, a work out, and a cool down where your physical therapist may place hot or cold pads on your joints to reduce pain and swelling. 


Your physical therapist will also give you exercises to try on your own time at home. Continuous practice is the only way to improve your condition, so it’s important that you follow your physical therapist’s advice. If you experience any problems with these exercises or you notice any new pain, be sure to talk to your physical therapist so they can adjust their treatment plan accordingly. 

Contact Haven Physical Therapy 
If you are looking for outpatient physical therapy in Southwest, Missouri, look no further than Haven Physical Therapy. We offer customized treatment plans to help with a variety of problems, including sports injuries, surgery recovery, and chronic conditions like arthritis. To schedule a consultation, give us a call today at (417) 731-7094. 

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