If you have joint pain, you may be wondering when is the right time to seek the expertise of a physical therapist. The answer is now! Physical therapy can be an effective solution to relieving pain as well as to help you regain or improve your strength, movement, and function, which may have been restricted due to an injury, health condition, or illness.
What Causes Joint Pain?
There are many conditions that can affect joints and lead to pain. In some cases, joint pain may be felt immediately following an injury, such as a sudden fall or direct blow. This is often accompanied by bruising and swelling. Other conditions can cause the accumulation of symptoms over time and are often the result of overuse or repetitive movements which place stress on the joint.
A common condition that causes joint pain is arthritis. Arthritis is a progressive disease that causes inflammation in joints. It can lead to symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and immobility. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which affects the cartilage in joints and causes it to wear away. Cartilage is the tough, shock absorbing layer that covers the ends of many of our bones and forms a smooth, protective surface to allow bones in our joints to glide easily during movement. If the cartilage gets damaged or worn away, it can cause painful bone on bone rubbing.
Physical Therapy for Joint Pain
The main goal of physical therapy is to get you back to optimal functionality without pain or difficulty. Physical therapy can be used to treat a number of joint disorders and injuries, including ones affecting the shoulder, knee, hip, ankles, feet, hands and spine.
Physical therapists work to:
- Reduce, manage, or eliminate joint pain
- Assess your baseline strength, functional skill level, endurance, and limitations
- Improve the range of motion, mobility, and balance
- Strengthen joints
- Avoid surgery
- Manage and treat a range of health conditions
- Offer preventive care to reduce future injuries
- Offer pre- and post-operative therapy, if required
- Manage health and age-related medical conditions
Physical therapy can help to restore function to joints as well as surrounding tendons, ligaments, and bones. It is often recommended for arthritic pain because it can help to strengthen joints that have been weakened by inflammation. Physical therapists have expert knowledge in how the body moves and understand that gaining control over your body is important for your wellbeing.
Customized Physical Therapy Programs
Your physical therapist will work with you to design a customized rehabilitation program which is tailored to meet your specific needs. It will focus on reducing pain as well as helping you improve your functional mobility to improve your overall quality of life. It may also include coordinating additional support when required, such as occupational therapy and hand therapy.
A physical therapist will take care of you through all phases of healing from the initial diagnosis to the recovery and preventive stage of care, which can help to reduce future injuries. Physical therapy can include a variety of treatments and therapeutic interventions such as soft tissue rehab and joint mobilization, manual and non-manual therapeutic modalities, and functional exercise to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and alleviate pain.
Physical therapy also includes regular exercise. Personalized exercise programs are tailored to you, taking into account your level of fitness, limitations, and requirements. Working with pain specialists trained in physical therapy ensures you exercise the right way in order to alleviate your pain, not increase it.
Physical therapy may be recommended if you require joint surgery. It can be beneficial both pre- and post-op to strengthen muscles, ligaments, and tendons which can help to reduce recovery time after surgery. Physical therapists can also offer training on post-op equipment, such as walking aids, braces, and splints.
Premier Physical Therapy in Austin, Texas
If you have joint pain, visit Endeavor Physical Therapy to get the expert treatment you need. We are an outpatient physical and hand therapy clinic which offers a comprehensive range of services and interventions to help patients suffering from musculoskeletal injuries or conditions.
We use a multidisciplinary approach and have experienced therapists to treat each patient with a customized therapy program that your doctor agrees is right for you.
Visit us today at one of our conveniently located offices in Austin, Texas. To learn more about our treatments or to find out how we can help you, call us at (512) 284-7192 or use our online appointment request form.