Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions affecting Americans, and unlike a variety of health conditions, it’s not something that returns to full health after treatment. Arthritis is oftentimes caused by natural cartilage degeneration in the joints of the body, and once this healthy cartilage degenerates, it’s gone for good. This leads many people to assume that there is little they can do to reverse the damage caused by arthritis or to alleviate their symptoms. While they can’t reverse arthritis, you can absolutely improve symptoms and your quality of life by treating the condition head on. And the best way to do that is with physical therapy.
The Benefits Of PT For Joint Degeneration
Just because you can’t turn back the clock and reset your knee joint health to when you were 20 years old does not mean you shouldn’t dive head first into treatment if your knees are giving you problems or negatively affecting your quality of life. And while doing some therapy exercises on your own is a good start, nothing beats the results you’ll see from connecting with a physical therapist to health with your joint pain.
Don’t believe us? A recent study analyzed the joint function and pain scores of two sets of patients. One group underwent physical therapy and mobilization exercises for knee osteoarthritis with the help of a certified physical therapist, while the other performed exercises on their own at home. Patients who saw a physical therapist experienced twice the pain relief and improvement of function compared to the group that performed exercises on their own. Moreover, these findings were still present when the groups were rechecked one year after the study concluded!
Another study found similar benefits when looking at hip osteoarthritis. Patients who received manual therapy, which included stretching and mobilization techniques performed under the guidance of a physical therapist, saw improved results compared to patients who only performed hip strengthening exercises. Again, these results were still present 29 weeks later when the patients were re-examined.
So while looking for physical therapy exercises online to treat an arthritic knee or wrist is a good start, know that you could be selling yourself short and missing out on a fuller recovery. Arthritis is so common, but it’s also so unique to the individual, so it’s important that you connect with a physical therapist to learn which stretches and exercises are best for your specific situation. Not only can we give you in-person guidance and perform some manual therapy to help improve range of motion and joint flexibility, but we can set you up with a home care routine that is better than anything you’ll find online.
If you are one of the millions of Americans for whom arthritis pain is a daily battle, know that you have options to control your symptoms even if the arthritis won’t reverse. If you keep doing the same things, the condition will only get worse, so take control of your life, give our therapy team a call and improve your quality of life today.