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The Best Way to Beat Arthritis
Arthritis-related pain has been the most common cause of adult pain and disability in the U.S. for the last 15 years and an estimated 294,000 children have some type of arthritis symptoms. To ease the pain and improve mobility, physical therapy offers a non-invasive method that doesn’t rely on prescription medications.
Arthritis is a symptom of more than 150 diseases, syndromes and rheumatic conditions. Most patients overlook the early symptoms of arthritis, assuming that they’re the result of “overdoing it.” Those with access to physical therapy techniques remain mobile longer.
Anatomy of Arthritis
Arthritis occurs when the joints become inflamed. The inflammation may be caused by wearing away of the bursa that cushions bones or when the immune system attacks the membrane that surrounds the joint. A family history of arthritis increases the risk of developing the condition, along with age, obesity and being female. People who have experienced a previous joint injury are also at increased risk.
The symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness and swelling, along with decreased range of motion. The skin often becomes reddened at the affected joint. Posture may be affected, along with the ability to straighten fingers or limbs. Patients may experience difficulty eating and sleeping, pleurisy and general feeling of malaise. It’s essential that patients obtain a diagnosis, as many of the symptoms can mimic other illnesses.
Physical Therapy Fosters Independence
One of the best treatments for arthritis is movement. Physical therapy offers such treatments as yoga and clinical Pilates, along with gentle yet effective ways to stay active and stave off disability. Exercise aids in pain relief and maintaining flexibility, and is tailored to the patient’s level of ability. Also, physical therapy treatment plans can be designed for weight loss that relieves pressure on joints.
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