5 Tips from Physical Therapy to Help Manage Your Arthritis
July is Arthritis Awareness Month and physical therapy helps manage arthritis pain and flexibility. How can physical therapists help? Physical therapists can provide you with specific exercises designed to preserve the mobility, strength, and use of your joints. Physical therapists can teach you the proper body mechanics to move from one position to another and the proper mechanics during the performance of household activities. They can teach you proper posture, such as while sitting, to protect the integrity of the joints. They can also educate you on the use of walking aids such as crutches, a walker, or a cane when needed. Your physical therapist will tailor a program to your specific needs, whether your arthritic problems are widespread or confined to one joint or body area. In addition to consulting with physical therapy, there are things you can do to manage your pain an flexibility:
As it gets hot outside, you may not be able to get the exercise you need from activities like walking or gardening. However, it is important to keep exercising a little every day. There are many strengthening and range of movement exercises you can do indoors and you should ask your physical therapist about these. Strengthening exercises can build the muscles around a weak joint to help keep it stable and range-of-movement exercises can keep arthritic joints mobile.
Lose weight for the sake of your knees.
Every time you take a step the pressure across your knees is three to four times your body weight. We all know it is hard to lose weight, but even losing three pounds of weight can take about nine to 12 pounds of pressure off your knees when you walk.
The amount of water you drink in a day can affect your joint health. Staying properly hydrated throughout the day helps you maintain an adequate blood volume so that nutrients can move through your blood and into your joints. If you think of your joints like a sponge, imagine how much more easily two wet sponges can move against one another than two dry, hard sponges. Water also allows waste products to move out of the joints.
Your arthritis may predispose you to falls and broken bones so be extra careful when walking over grass or wet surfaces. Avoid flip-flops or sandals that don’t give good support and wear shoes with a good grip. Walk slowly, taking small and steady steps.
Get an adequate supply of calcium and vitamin D.
Therapy Achievements’ therapists have over 20 years of experience and advanced training in treatment of balance and movement disorders. We have physical, occupational and speech therapy services and would welcome the opportunity to help you optimize your fitness program and optimize how you with arthritis.
We need calcium and vitamin D for healthy bones. To make vitamin D we need sunshine so take advantage of summer’s warm sunny days and get some sun. If you are concerned you are not getting enough vitamin D, talk to you doctor about calcium and vitamin D supplements that you can take by mouth.
Therapy Achievements is a Rehabilitation Center that provides Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy for Balance and Movement, Speech and Swallowing, Swelling from Lymphedema and Edema, Driving Rehabilitation and Functional Living Skills for visual and cognitive re-training. We help people with Brain Injury, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Lymphedema, Head and Neck Cancer, Vertigo and Dizziness, and other disorders that interfere with mobility and function. We offer VitalStim Technology, Saebo Technology, LSVT LOUD Treatment, LSVT BIG Treatment, and Neuro-Developmental Treatment.