You’ll Find An Osteoarthritis Specialist In Carlsbad At Gaspar PT
As people age, they commonly develop osteoarthritis in frequently used joints such as the knees, hips and even the spine. If you are local, the good news is there is an osteoarthritis specialist in Carlsbad.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that primarily affects the slippery tissue, called cartilage, that allows bones to glide over one another with ease. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and wears away. This can lead to pain and problems moving the joint.
Medications cover up the symptoms but only offer short term relief. Physical therapy gets to the problem itself and helps to provide relief from pain associated with osteoarthritis. Many people with the disease have stiff joints because they avoid activity that causes pain. The goal of a physical therapist is to get patients back to the point where they can perform their normal, everyday activities easier and with less pain.
A good range of motion is important in helping to perform activities. Increasing that range in affected joints and lessening joint stiffness is one of the main goals of physical therapy. Another very important goal is building up your strength. For example, your therapist will often work on strengthening the quadriceps muscles in the front of your thighs as a way to help protect knee joints by stabilizing them and decreasing the pressure on your knee.
The Centers for Disease Control states:
Research shows that exercise is one of the best treatments for osteoarthritis. Exercise can improve mood and outlook, decrease pain, increase flexibility, strengthen the heart and improve blood flow, maintain weight, and promote general physical fitness. Exercise is also inexpensive and, if done correctly, has few negative side effects.
The amount and form of exercise prescribed will depend on which joints are involved, how stable the joints are, and whether a joint replacement has already been done. Walking, swimming, and water aerobics are a few popular types of exercise for people with osteoarthritis.
Your doctor and/or physical therapist can recommend specific types of exercise depending on your particular situation. Attention to rest and periods of relief from stress on the joints is also important.
In addition to strengthening exercises, your physical therapist can also teach you how to work out stiffness on your own without further damaging your joints. You can also learn how to best move from one position to another, such as how to stand up or get into and out of a car.
Other treatments can include thermal modalities such as ice packs or heating pads placed on the affected area or even ultrasound to relieve joint pain.