How Physical Therapy Relieves Arthritis Pains and Other Natural Tips
7 minute read
Contrary to what people think, arthritis is not a singular condition. It is actually a collection of conditions marked by inflamed joints.
Inflammation causes swelling, pain, and often immobility to the point where normal activities can no longer be enjoyed. The good news is that inflammation can be controlled with dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and even physical therapy.
You may think that moving inflamed joints is not a good idea, but the benefits are very real.
How to Improve Arthritis Pain With Physical Therapy
Exercising actually helps the body to reduce inflammation. When it comes to arthritis, what is important is moving correctly.
Strenuous exercise and over-exertion can damage an inflamed joint even further, but gentle and guided exercises can help strengthen and repair an arthritic joint. A physical therapist can help you to gently and safely exercise your joints. With time you will be able to climb stairs, walk around the block, or even take part in your favorite sport without pain.
The goal of physical therapy for individuals with arthritis is to strengthen and repair the immobilized joint. While there will be some pain initially, the physical therapy will gradually introduce you to movements that help your joints regain health.
An inflamed joint that becomes stagnant will only allow for further inflammation and permanent damage. Physical therapy strengthens the muscles around the joint, allowing for supported movement and enhanced mobility.
Because everybody is unique and every case of arthritis is different, physical therapists are trained to develop a schedule and program just for you and your needs. Taking into consideration your current condition as well as your goals, they can devise the right therapy plan for you.
Physical therapy teaches you guided and safe ways to correctly move as well as proper body mechanics and posture for movement. Your therapist will address movements critical to your everyday life, so you can learn to perform daily functions without pain.
You can also learn how to use assisting devices such as walkers for when they may be needed. Outside of physical therapy, your therapist will help you make modifications to your home and activities that can relieve pain and improve function.
For physical therapy sessions to be effective, you need to be honest with your therapist. Let them know your complaints and your goals, so they can accurately design a program for you. You will likely have sessions in a physical therapy office, but often the therapist gives you exercises to do at home too.
Following their instructions is fundamental to your safety and your success. Depending on the severity of you condition, you can get back to living in a matter of months.
Other Natural Options to Relieve Arthritis Pains
Physical therapy helps to safely get you moving again and brings strength back to your joints. In addition to therapy, there are additional treatment options that can relieve pain and promote joint health.
Your physical therapist may advise you to try some and may even have a few new recommendations of their own. Either way, you can naturally alleviate pain and help support the regeneration process by taking care of your joints naturally.
Carrying around extra pounds puts unnecessary stress on your joints, which means more inflammation. Consult your physical therapist about healthy ways to lose weight with exercise and change your diet to support losing those unwanted pounds. Having excess fat stored around the body also increases inflammation, so by shedding pounds you can limit the inflammation that can potentially harm your joints.
Supplements are a great place to start to help damaged joints heal from inflammatory damage. Supplements that contain clinically proven ingredients such as astaxanthin and hyaluronic acid can help to repair damage and heal joints from within.
The use of krill oil is also beneficial to joint health because of the powerful omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation and oxidative damage, while promoting fluid joint movement.
Spices and herbs have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, so you may have some helpful friends in your kitchen. Turmeric is an excellent spice for reducing inflammation and oxidative damage commonly associated with arthritis.
Boswellia serrata is another herb that works to control inflammation and allows time for your joints to heal.
Making dietary changes is a great way to reduce inflammation. Processed foods and those high in sugar and unhealthy fats are known to promote inflammation, so should be cut or limited from your diet.
In addition to this, there are several foods that work to reduce inflammation, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids like fish. The Mediterranean diet is an example of an anti-inflammatory diet that works to control inflammation and promote overall health.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Relieving arthritis pain can be as simple as applying heat or cold to the afflicted areas. Hot showers or baths are great for relaxing muscles and reducing stiffness, especially in the morning.
Cold packs can help to alleviate swelling and inflammation during flare ups. If you do not have an ice pack, then a bag of frozen vegetables will work just fine too.
Often physical therapy will incorporate light exercise with stretching and massage. Massages help to relieve aches and sooth muscles so they are no longer stiff.
If massages are not part of your physical therapy, consider seeking one out on your own. They can release tension and improve mobility and relaxation at the same time.
The Bottom Line
Arthritis affects millions and can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Inflammation is a natural process, and you can control it by natural means to alleviate the joint pains it causes.
Physical therapy along with diet and lifestyle changes, and the use of joint supplements, can help you reduce pain, promote joint health, and keep you moving today, tomorrow, and every day.