Does physical therapy help arthritis symptoms?

Does Physical Therapy Help Arthritis

This is a question that many people with arthritis might ask, and the answer is that physical therapy does help many people with their arthritis symptoms. 

Arthritis is a problem that affects a huge number of Americans. Medical researchers report that 47% of women and 40% of men will develop osteoarthritis in their lifetime. Arthritis can lead to many symptoms that can make life harder for you, but physical therapy can do a lot to help treat your arthritis symptoms. 

What symptoms of arthritis does physical therapy help? 

The symptoms that you experience from arthritis can be unique to you, and physical therapy can do a lot to help treat your unique blend of arthritis symptoms. A few of the arthritis symptoms that physical therapy can help you with include: 

  1. Joint pain — Arthritis is characterized by inflammation in joint tissue. The most common symptom that this inflammation causes is joint pain. Often, arthritis pain tends to be worse in the morning or if you move around too much. Fortunately, one medical study found that physical therapy for knee arthritis helped reduce pain scores by 52% in four weeks.  
  1. Muscle weakness — People with arthritis also tend to develop weakness in the muscles around the affected joint. This weakness can lead to decreased joint support, which can increase pain and stiffness. Physical therapy can be used to help increase the strength of joint supporting muscles. A study of hip osteoarthritis patients reveals that physical therapy helped increase hip extensor muscle strength by 20% in 12 weeks. 
  1. Decreased range of motion (ROM) — Many people can’t move their joints as much when they have arthritis; this decreased ROM tends to make doing normal activities more difficult. Yet working with a physical therapist can help arthritis patients improve their joint ROM. For instance, a hip osteoarthritis study found that immediately after physical therapy patients experienced a: 
  • 12.4 degree improvement in hip flexion.
  • 4.4 degree increase in hip internal rotation. 

Looking for physical therapy for your arthritis? Continuum Wellness can help!

At Continuum Wellness, our physical therapy team is primed to help you find treatment that does help your arthritis symptoms. We can do a free screening of your arthritic joint to determine which symptoms you’re dealing with. Then, our specialists can build you a customized therapy plan designed to: 

  • Reduce your symptoms.
  • Help you manage them better in the future. 
  • Increase your ability to do normal daily tasks. 

You can even sign up for at-home care or virtual therapy sessions that allow you to do your therapy at home. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help treat your arthritis symptoms or to schedule an initial appointment.