Osteoarthritis is not just for older adults: While it's true that osteoarthritis is more common in older adults, it can also affect younger people, especially those who have a family history of the condition or have experienced joint injuries.
Progressive Physical Therapy can help!
Managing osteoarthritis with physical therapy
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common, chronic joint condition that can affect various parts of the body. It mostly occurs in the hip and knee joints, as well as the lower back, neck, and various joints in the hands and feet. Joints are protected and cushioned by strong, smooth connective tissue called cartilage – and OA develops when this cartilage cushion degenerates over time.
What causes osteoarthritis?
Often called a "wear and tear" condition, OA also can result from previous joint injuries or surgical procedures. Also, the risk of developing OA increases with age. People typically begin to notice symptoms in their 50s and 60s. Other contributing factors include obesity, physical inactivity, certain medical conditions and a family history of arthritis. As the cartilage wears down, there is damage to the bones underneath.
What are the symptoms of OA?
Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Pain or discomfort after prolonged activity
- Stiff joints in the morning
- Limited range of motion
- Sounds of a joint clicking or cracking
- Joint swelling
- Muscle weakness
- Joint instability or sensation that it is "giving out"
Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis typically include a deep ache, stiffness, swelling, and reduced ability to climb stairs, squat, or walk/stand for extended periods. The knee may feel warm due to inflammation of the joint, along with muscle weakness around the knee. Knee pain can radiate to the hip or ankles.
Osteoarthritis pain in the hips is commonly felt in the groin area but may radiate to the buttocks, thigh or knee.
How being overweight or obese contributes to osteoarthritis:
According to the Arthritis Foundation, every additional pound of body weight places 3 pounds of extra pressure on the knees and 6 pounds of extra pressure on the hips.
Why choose Progressive Physical Therapy to manage your OA?
Our physical therapists are skilled in various techniques to alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis. Through hands-on treatments and targeted exercises, therapists can help reduce your pain and enhance your overall mobility and quality of life.
- Improve your range of motion: Limited range of motion is a common symptom of osteoarthritis, making various activities challenging. Our therapists will work with you to enhance your joint flexibility and mobility. This allows you to perform daily tasks with less difficulty and discomfort.
- Enhance your strength and balance: Weak muscles and poor balance often accompany osteoarthritis, increasing the risk of falls and injury. We offer specialized exercises to strengthen the muscles around your affected joints, improving your balance and stability.
- Analyze and improve your gait: Walking patterns may change due to joint pain and stiffness. We can analyze your gait and recommend adjustments or exercises to help you walk more comfortably and efficiently.
- Mobilize your joints: Our therapists are trained to perform joint mobilization, which can help unload cartilage surfaces, reduce stiffness and relieve pain. This is a crucial part of your osteoarthritis management plan.
Personalized treatment plans: Each patient's experience with osteoarthritis is unique. Our team will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.
Managing OA pain to stay active: Understanding that osteoarthritis cannot be cured, our goal is to assist you in managing the pain, physical impairment and loss of function that often accompany this condition. At Progressive Physical Therapy, we work with you to improve your overall quality of life and help you stay active and engaged in the activities you love.
Contact us today to schedule an evaluation, and let us help you on your path to a more comfortable and active life. Call us toll-free at (877) 342-2669 to schedule a comprehensive evaluation.