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Looking For a Drug-Free Way to Manage Your Arthritis Pain? Try Physical Therapy.

Many people with arthritis believe that daily pain is a given. But the truth is, stiffness and discomfort don’t have to be a part of our everyday lives. And you don’t have to rely on harmful drugs for temporary pain relief either.

If you’ve been losing more and more of your mobility and productivity due to chronic joint inflammation, you may feel like your only option is to depend on powerful prescription painkillers. Though commonly prescribed, there are serious downsides to certain pharmaceutical drugs like opioids. These potent drugs carry the risk of addiction, damage to vital organs, and even fatal overdose. Fortunately, there is a safer, more effective path toward arthritis pain management: physical therapy. Contact us at NorthPark Medical Group.

The Three Most Common Types of Arthritis

The term, “arthritis” refers to an entire family of painful joint conditions. For some individuals, it can manifest due to a bacterial joint infection; in others, it may take the form of painful gout in a toe joint. The majority of arthritis sufferers, however, experience one of the three painful conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis, and it is usually the result of a lifetime of joint motion combined with particular changes that occur as people age. Healthy joints have a layer of cartilage that works as a shock absorber and anti-friction component, as well as a lubricating fluid to keep the bone ends moving smoothly. The creation of this lubricating fluid might dry up with time, causing the cartilage to become thinner and more worn until it eventually breaks down completely. This causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joint, which usually gets worse when you try to move or put weight on it.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – is caused by an auto-immune disease or malfunction. The same defense mechanisms that ordinarily combat disease germs decide to target your joints, attacking them and treating them as the enemy. This causes severe inflammation that may come and go, resulting in joint swelling and deformity.
  • Metabolic Arthritis. The most common type of metabolic arthritis is gout, a condition caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the extremities, especially in the feet. This is typically a result of reduced kidney function. Physical therapy can help gout patients restore range of motion in the affected area, and it can even reduce the buildup of acidic crystals that accumulate in the joints.

Many arthritis patients turn to medication in the hopes of alleviating their symptoms. NSAIDs, steroids, and (in the most severe situations) opiate medicines can all provide temporary relief. However, these medications can’t solve the medical problems that are causing your symptoms; they can only mask them.

Furthermore, if painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines are used frequently, they can have serious side effects. Internal organ damage can be caused by NSAIDs, while steroids can cause everything from cataracts to osteoporosis. Opioids are exceedingly dangerous, not just because they are addictive, but also because overdoses can (and frequently do) result in death.

How PT Can Help Ease Your Arthritis Pain

Turn to physical therapy for an arthritis pain management plan that improves your health without exposing you to the risks of drugs. Our physical therapists can evaluate your joints to determine the extent of your arthritis and how severely it is impacting your stance, gait, and mobility. After that, you’ll receive an individualized pain management plan that may include modalities such as:

  • Corrective devices – Your physical therapist can recommend specialized insoles and train you in the use of devices such as walkers or canes.
  • Lifestyle guidance – Your physical therapist can suggest specific modifications to your daily ergonomics or lifestyle to help you feel better.
  • Exercise – Exercise can aid arthritis sufferers by boosting circulation, easing inflammation, strengthening joint tissues and increasing range of motion.It can also assist you in improving your balance if it has become an issue for you.
  • Physiotherapy techniques – You may benefit from massage therapy, cold/heat therapy or laser therapy.

While there is no known treatment for arthritis, these methods found in physical therapy are a tried and true way of reducing pain and inflammation. Based on the type of arthritic illness and their needs, each patient is given a tailored treatment plan. Treatment regimens aid in the improvement of strength, mobility, and range of motion while also reducing pain.

Contact NorthPark Medical Group for Relief!

Don’t merely numb your arthritis pain; find a natural, safe, and efficient strategy to manage it. Contact our physical therapy clinic today to unlock your personalized treatment plan and take your life back from pain!

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