Arthritis is a common condition that affects many people and interferes with their ability to enjoy a normal life. If your doctor has recommended a referral to physical therapy to help you cope with the annoying pain and functional limitations caused by arthritis, you may be skeptical at first and wonder if it will be beneficial. Understanding how physical therapy can ease your discomfort will help you prepare for your first visit and make the most of your treatment sessions.
Improve your balance
Impaired balance often occurs in arthritis sufferers due to muscle weakness, decreased mobility, and limited joint function. Poor balance can make you more prone to falls that may lead to further injury to already sensitive joints and muscles. Physical therapy can help you improve your ambulation and balance by teaching you exercises to strengthen your core musculature.
Increase range of motion
Arthritis leads to stiff joints with limited motion. Having a limited range of motion even by a mild degree can affect your ability to perform daily tasks. Physical therapy exercises can help you improve the range of motion in your painful joints, which can have a significant impact on your ability to move better.
Helps with posture
When you are suffering from stiff and achy joints, it is not uncommon for it to affect your posture, and you may not even be aware that your posture is incorrect. Achy shoulders or a painful back can lead to a slumped sitting posture and additional pain. An important part of your physical therapy treatment will be learning the importance of a proper posture, which puts less strain and stress on your joints when you are walking, sitting, or standing throughout the course of your day.
Learn the proper way to use assistive devices
One of the most common things physical therapists see is patients using assistive devices incorrectly. If your arthritis makes it necessary for you to use a cane or walker at times, learning the proper way to ambulate with these devices is important. You will learn how to navigate your environment correctly and the importance of using them only when necessary to help you avoid becoming too dependent on assistive devices.
Suffering from arthritis can interfere with your daily work routine and affect your social life. Fortunately, physical therapy can be helpful in easing pain and increasing your functional mobility. Physical therapy may help reduce your pain, and in some cases, it may even help you avoid the need for surgery and the use of medications.
Visit a physical therapy clinic near you to find out more.