Do you feel sore and achy in your joints after physical work, exercise, or just a long day? It’s possible that you may be experiencing the symptoms of osteoarthritis. According to the American Arthritis Association, Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting the vast majority of the population as they age. There are many reasons why people develop OA, but the main one is aging. As we live longer, wear and tear on cartilage in our joints occurs, causing inflammation and pain.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The most common areas for OA to occur is in the spine, knees, hips, and fingers. The symptoms typically come on slowly, but as the disease continues more symptoms occur such as:
- Pain in a joint.
- Swelling or tenderness in one or more joints.
- Stiffness after periods of sitting or inactivity. This is especially noted when getting up in the morning.
- Flare-ups of pain and inflammation after using the arthritic joint.
- Crunching feeling or sounds of bone rubbing on bone (called crepitus) when moving the joint.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
While the causes of OA vary, a lifestyle of inactivity, weakness in a certain area, injury, or disease can accelerate OA, even in young adults. Cartilage is a shock absorber for your joints. Depending on your overall health, nutrition, and lifestyle, that cartilage can take a beating over the years. Joint alignment or muscle weakness around the joint can significantly affect the pressure on the cartilage causing it to wear down faster.
What Can Help Arthritis Pain?
People think that once they have osteoarthritis nothing can be done about it. They assume anti-inflammatory medication or joint replacement surgery are their only options. They don’t know that physical therapy is one of the most effective treatments for OA and can help relieve symptoms significantly. Even if you have been suffering for a long time, a lot can be done to help joint alignment, stability and pain with PT. Physical therapy focuses on addressing your problem, improving normal joint mobility, and strengthening the muscles around it. Different treatments are performed to relieve pain, swelling and restore balance around the affected joint. We will teach you valuable techniques to maintain your joint health so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. Schedule an appointment with us today!
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