Chances are, using physical therapy to treat arthritis isn’t a new suggestion for you. PT has been a respected treatment option for decades, and is known for helping joint pain and stiffness. You may have resisted because the idea of putting yourself through painful exercises is not an appealing one. Yet physical therapists make those moves much less grueling than you might think. More importantly, several types of physical therapy for arthritis exist that you may not even be aware of.
Healing Deep-Heat Therapy
While home treatments such as a heating pad may provide a temporary respite from arthritis pain, diathermy goes much deeper. During diathermy, a physical therapist puts electrodes on the affected areas, or uses a specializes wand. In either case, microwaves or electric currents target and destroy the damaged, pain-causing tissue around arthritic joints.
Massage is universally prized for easing the aches of sore muscles and throbbing joints. But there are even more benefits for arthritis sufferers. Physical therapy massage increases blood circulation where you need it most, which eases arthritis pain and promotes healing.
Electrical Currents to Block Pain
TENS therapy is somewhat similar to some types of diathermy, in that it also uses electrical currents. But with TENS, the sole point is to block pain messages from your damaged joints to your brain. It may not heal damaged cells, but the periods of pain relief it provides can be liberating. You can receive TENS at your physical therapist, and also learn how to use a simple home kit.
Learning New Ways to Get Around
Occupational therapy has several applications for arthritis patients. To deal with arthritis pain, for example, your physical therapist helps you find new ways to accomplish your daily tasks without pain. These specialists also identify body positions, along with non-ergonomic work setups, that contribute to pain. There are ingenious workarounds for many of the moves that cause aching joints that you might never have guessed — whether it’s going up the stairs, emptying the dishwasher, or holding your grandchildren.
Making All the Right Moves
What you may think of as “traditional” physical therapy can also do a world of good for arthritis pain. Gentle exercises, which you can also do at home, help you limber up your stiffened joints and muscles. They also strengthen surrounding muscles for better support, and increase your range of motion. All are designed to arthritic patients move more freely, and with less pain.
Call Continuum Wellness today and speak to our experts physical therapists.