Physical Therapy for Joint Pain
With the advancement of age, joint pain can become a fact of life. But with the advancement of medical practices and scientific research, we have become more aware than ever of the many common causes of joint pain. Joint pain can be caused by general inflammation, the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, infections, past injuries or other diseases. Physical therapy may be an effective treatment for your joint pain, depending on the cause.
Gout is a buildup of uric acid in a joint. It most frequently occurs in the toe joints. The pain feels sharp, and swelling may accompany this issue. The joint will be difficult to move, and if you have gout once, your risk for future attacks increases. Joint pain from gout can be caused by increased weight, a high-fat or high-alcohol diet, or your family history.
Degenerative Joint Disease
This is another name for osteoarthritis, which occurs as the joints naturally wear down over the years. It is commonly seen in the knees, hips, and hands. Around half of senior citizens will eventually experience degenerative joint disease due to repetitive motions that they have made over the years. These constant movements wear down the cartilage in the joints and cause the joints to feel stiff, weak, and uncomfortable. Eventually, individuals may find it difficult to move the affected joints at all.
Physical Therapy Treatment for Joint Pain
Medicine or surgery do not have to be your only options for joint pain treatment. Your physical therapist can help you decide, based on your evaluation, if that should be an option to consider. Physical therapy uses a variety of the following techniques to reduce inflammation and pain:
- Joint & Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Strengthening exercises
- Balance exercises
- Microcurrent Therapy
These methods can provide significant pain relief when used regularly. Your New Heights physical therapist will give you a personalized home exercise program to continue progress while you are outside of the clinic.
When a doctor does recommend joint replacement to treat chronic joint pain, physical therapy can also be a helpful tool in the recovery process. When used after surgery, physical therapy restores one’s healthy range-of-motion, rebuilds strength and naturally reduces pain and stiffness while also reteaching natural movements.
Not having surgery for a while? Physical therapy will greatly improve strength prior to surgery, allowing you to have a speedy recovery post-surgery.
Experienced Treatment for Joint Pain
It’s important to choose a physical therapist that has direct experience with joint pain treatment. At New Heights Physical Therapy, we can help you determine your best options for reducing joint pain, working with you and any existing conditions to improve your pain levels. Contact us for an appointment today!
Physical Therapy for Joint Dislocation
Joint dislocation is most frequently the result of traumatic injury, and it can happen in nearly any joint. Dislocations almost always require professional treatment, but some require long-term help to avoid immobility. Here is a quick look at four common joint dislocations and the way that physical therapy can reduce their effects.
Shoulder Joint Dislocation
The shoulder is at high risk of dislocation because of its freedom of movement. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint held together with numerous ligaments and muscles. Dislocation at the shoulder most often happens through contact sports, but could also be the result of a fall or another activity that presses suddenly on the shoulder.
Knee Joint Dislocation
Knee joint dislocations are also commonly associated with sports injuries or auto accidents. The three important ligaments that hold the knee in place may stretch or tear, and swelling is common. After the knee has been immobilized for a time, research shows that continued treatment with physical therapy can prevent joint immobilization. Active and passive exercises are important for building strength and for preventing the knee from buckling.
Elbow Joint Dislocation
Elbow dislocations are common in children whose arms are not yet strong. In adults, they are rare and are associated with traumatic accidents.
Hip Joint Dislocation
Hip joint dislocations are rare but incredibly serious because of the number of arteries and nerves running through the area. Auto accidents and major falls are the most common causes of this injury. Physical reduction by a physician will be necessary to place the hip back in the pelvis. This must sometimes be done under anesthesia. Once the joint is stable, a physical therapist can improve movement and strength in the following ways:
- Weight-bearing exercises
- Exercises to strengthen the areas around the joint
- Range-of-motion exercises
- Stabilizing and balance activities
- Activity reeducation
Joint Dislocation and Physical Therapy Treatment
Any joint that is dislocated requires immediate medical help, to avoid serious consequences to the blood vessels, nerves and muscles that surround the area. Following initial medical treatment can return functional movement to the area and improve strength. If you need treatment for a joint that has been dislocated, contact New Heights Physical Therapy for a consultation. We can help evaluate the current health of your joint, designing a rehabilitation plan to improve your joint’s movement and stability.
Back to Conditions Treated by Physical Therapy
Joint Pain in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
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