Do your joints hurt all the time? You just may have chronic joint pain. Contact Therapy Choice today to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists. We’ll help alleviate your joint pain.
Joint pain can occur in any part of the joint, including the muscles, tendons, bone, cartilage and ligaments. It can be mild or severe, but if it lasts for several weeks or months, it’s chronic. The joints are what form the connections between bones and help provide movement. Joint pain is highly common. In one survey, 30 percent of adults reported having joint pain within the past month. Knee, shoulder and hip joint pain are the most common.
The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs slowly and tends to affect the hips, knees, hands and wrists. It’s common in those over 40. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects over 1 million Americans and is more common in women. The body’s immune system attacks the membrane of the joints. It causes fluid buildup, pain and inflammation. Other causes of chronic joint pain include:
The symptoms associated with chronic joint pain are joint swelling, joint tenderness, joint redness, locking of the joint, loss of range of motion of the joint, weakness, stiffness and limping.
Physical therapy can be your first line of defense against chronic joint pain. “Physical therapy can help to reduce the pain, swelling, and stiffness of joint pain and knee osteoarthritis, and it can help improve knee joint function. It can also make it easier for you to walk, bend, kneel, squat and sit. In fact, a 2000 study found that a combination of manual physical therapy and supervised exercise has functional benefits for patients with joint pain knee osteoarthritis and may delay or prevent the need for surgery.
A physical therapist implements both passive and active treatments for chronic joint pain. Passive treatments include cold therapy, heat therapy and hydrotherapy. By reducing circulation, cold therapy reduces inflammation. Heat therapy increases blood flow and to decrease stiffness. Hydrotherapy is a gentle exercise in the water that helps facilitate motion. A physical therapist will also have you engage in specific strengthening and flexibility exercises during a session and at home. These exercises increase range of motion and make the joints stronger. They are very effective for reducing pain and increasing mobility.
If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain, don’t hesitate to call our office and schedule a one-on-one consultation and evaluation. Our physical therapist will review your medical history and perform specific tests to measure your stability and range of motion. Then, our physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan designed to target the root of the cause of your chronic joint pain. Call today.