Ready To Try Physical Therapy For Your Knee Arthritis Armor Physical Therapy Can Help
At Armor Physical Therapy, our team has helped many patients deal with osteoarthritis in many joints, including the knee. We offer complimentary screenings that can reveal exactly how arthritis is affecting your knee. Additionally, our physical therapists are adept at creating individualized therapy plans designed to reduce arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness.
Cant come into one of our therapy clinics for help? No problem! Our team offers therapy services you can use right from home, such as at-home care and virtual therapy sessions. We can even help treat your arthritis if you dont have a doctors referral.
Contact us today for more information about our arthritis treatment services or to schedule your initial appointment.
Pt For Rheumatoid Arthritis
What about the other kinds of arthritis? The next most common that Dr. Staples sees is rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease diagnosed by a blood test. Whats happening is that their body is attacking their own joints. So, the physical therapy we do is to teach patients how to protect their joints, especially during certain flares. The individual might have different management strategies depending on their activities, so we look to decrease the strain on affected joints so they can do those activities, says Staples. The physical therapy for rheumatoid arthritis is how to help not exacerbate problems.
Staples says that rheumatoid arthritis would be primarily managed through medication, But they still have these joints that have had potential damages. So, the physical therapy is really teaching them how to move better.
Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Knee
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple joints in your body, including your knees.
RA is an autoimmune and inflammatory disorder where the body attacks itself, specifically attracting the joint cell lining and capsular tissues that surround your joints.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis in your knees, your immune system attacks the synovial membrane that lines your knee joint.
When this membrane is attacked, it begins to swell, causing inflammation and pain.
As the swelling continues, it can damage the cartilage and ligaments of your knee joints causing them to grind against each other. This can lead to bones wearing down or breaking more easily.
Unfortunately, RA gets worse over time.
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Knee Extension: Seated Stretch
The knee extension/seated stretch is performed while seated at the edge of a chair. Gently slide your surgical leg forward and push down on the knee to straighten your leg. Hold for 10-15 seconds then pull your leg back. Repeat the recommended number of times.ALL EXERCISES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS INSTRUCTED BY YOUR SURGEON, AFTER PROPER DEMONSTRATION BY A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.
Physical Therapy Guide To Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee is the inflammation and wearing away of the cartilage on the bones that form the knee joint . The diagnosis of knee OA is based on 2 primary findings: radiographic evidence of changes in bone health , and an individual’s symptoms . Approximately 14 million people in the United States have symptomatic knee OA. Although more common in older adults, 2 million of the 14 million people with symptomatic knee OA were younger than 45 when diagnosed, and more than half were younger than 65. Physical therapists treat knee OA to reduce pain and improve range of motion.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
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Here Is What You Need To Know To Manage Your Osteoarthritis:
When I examined her, the left knee had about 1 inch of swelling compared to the right and she was limited in her ability to bend and fully straighten her knee. She limped when she walked with her left knee slightly bent and had profound weakness in both hips, the left thigh and calf muscles and profound stiffness in her left knee and ankle.
Best of Luck!
Exercising At Home Or Work
The best knee exercises may be the ones you can do at home or even during a break at the office. Theyre easy, effective, and convenient, and dont require any special equipment. Do them slowly and gradually increase the number of repetitions as your muscles get stronger.
Afterward, be sure to do a few gentle stretching exercises to help prevent your muscles from tightening up. Consider exercising your knees every other day to give sore muscles a rest.
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Physical Therapy For Arthritis
A physical therapist can develop a movement plan to help keep you active.
Physical therapy can help you get moving safely and effectively. Physical therapists are licensed professionals with graduate degrees and clinical experience who examine, diagnose and treat or help prevent conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life, according to the American Physical Therapy Association .
Physical therapy focuses on the bodys ability to engage in movement. Movement can be anything from getting in and out of chairs to climbing stairs, walking in your neighborhood, playing a sport or doing recreational activities.
What Are the Goals of Physical Therapy?
For arthritis, goals typically include:
- Improving the mobility and restoring the use of affected joints,
- Increasing strength to support the joints,
- Maintaining fitness,
- Preserving the ability to perform daily activities.
What Can a Physical Therapist Do For You?
To start, an individualized plan of exercises is developed. These exercises are designed to improve flexibility, strength, coordination and balance to achieve optimal physical function. Physical therapists:
What Doesa Physical Therapy Session Look Like?
The key to a successful outcome is learning the exercises from a physical therapist and practicing them at home over the long term. Improvement is gradual the body gets stronger and more adept slowly over time so consistent practice is essential.
How to Find a Physical Therapist?
What Kind Of Treatment Can I Expect
A physical therapist will perform a number of different modalities, including ice and manual therapy with soft tissue work to help reduce pain. He or she will prescribe exercises that improve range of motion, muscle strength and balance. The therapist will also have the patient perform low impact stretches and exercises that help build strength in the muscles surrounding joints. For example, patients with osteoarthritis of the knee will perform exercises that help strengthen the quadriceps, helping to relieve pressure on the joint. Finally, the physical therapist will help the patient establish a lifelong maintenance plan for joint health.
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Why Is Biking A Good Exercise For Someone With Arthritic Knees Or Hips
Because youll be reducing the impact of the hard surface that can easily damage vital joints. Youll also be helping essential processes like the heart and the lungs to stay healthy.
Let me say this again.
Youll feel so much healthier if you vary your exercise habits and fitness plans every week. Its also important to remain alert of the impact that doing the same things day after day can have on your joints and muscles.
Bike riding is something that anyone in their 40s, 50s and above should seriously consider. Its even better than walking if your objective is to stay active and healthy.
Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
Hip osteoarthritis may be prevented or limited by keeping the hip and leg muscles strong and flexible, maintaining a healthy body weight, and using proper balance skills. Research shows that strengthening and stretching exercises for the hip, core and leg can minimize and reduce osteoarthritis pain and stiffness, so it is reasonable to conclude that keeping those muscles strong and limber will help prevent painful osteoarthritis symptoms and problems.
When you seek help once hip osteoarthritis develops, your physical therapist can recommend a home exercise program to strengthen and stretch the muscles around your hip, upper leg, and abdomen to help prevent future hip pain and problems. These may include strength and flexibility exercises.
This article was originally posted on the American Physical Therapy Association website.
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Physical Therapy For Knee Arthritis Information Exercises And More
Knee stiffness, pain, and swelling. Youve been dealing with the symptoms for far too long and youve had enough. You want to get back to doing everyday activities without the pain.
Now, youre curious about the cause and how to make the constant discomfort fade, but without a proper diagnosis, it may be hard to find relief.
We understand and are here to help.
In this guide, were discussing everything you need to know about knee arthritis, from types and symptoms to treatment and everything in between. Keep reading to learn more.
How Can Physical Therapy Help
Physical therapy is a noninvasive way to minimize the progression of osteoarthritis, lessen the pain caused by it and improve strength and flexibility. PT for osteoarthritis is widely seen as an alternative to surgery and prescription pain killers. A physical therapist will begin by assessing the extent of the joint inflammation, how it impacts your body mechanics and how to strengthen and or stretch the muscles surrounding and supporting the joint. This assessment will be used to create an individualized treatment plan aimed at reducing pain and inflammation and maximizing pain free movement.
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What Is Knee Arthritis
The knee is the strongest and largest joint in the human body. Its a hinge joint made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.
The knee joint connects three bones in your leg:
In order to really understand what knee arthritis is, you need to understand the other components of your knee.
- These three bones are covered by articular cartilage, a slippery substance that helps your knee bones glide smoothly across each other when you straighten or bend your leg.
Between your femur and your tibia, is a cartilage called your meniscus. This cartilage acts as a shock absorber. It is tough and rubbery and helps cushion and stabilize your knee joint.
- Ligaments connect the bones of your knee together.
Think of these ligaments as strong ropes or chains that hold the bones of your knee together.
- The muscles of your knee are held together by tendons. Your quadriceps tendons are what connect the muscles of the front of your thigh to your patella.
So, how does arthritis affect all of these different components of your knee?
That depends on the type of arthritis you are diagnosed with.
Knee arthritis comes in many different forms, over 100 different forms in fact, and although some of the symptoms are the same, each type affects your knees a bit differently.
The most common types of arthritis of the knee are:
Knee Osteoarthritis: A Mystery Riddle
Despite numerous studies conducted, the etiology, onset, and specific causes for OA remain unknown. Scientists believe that a combination of physical factors such as obesity, aging, and joint injury coupled to genetic predisposition ultimately predispose some individuals to earlier onset of disease. What we do know is that repetitive mechanical loads, age, and high levels of inactivity play the most important role in the development of OA therefore, taking a careful consideration of the age, activity level, and diagnosis of the patient/client is critical in developing a plan of care for most clinicians. As there is no known cure for OA, current treatment aims at controlling pain, and improving function and health-related quality of life. It is well known that OA is characterized physiologically by loss of cartilage covering the joints, leading to direct bone to bone contact. Such a situation results in a high degree of pain in the affected joint and thus restricts mobility. In cases of advanced OA, only a total joint replacement can provide relief however, we note that many patients are not candidates for joint replacements, as the surgery is highly invasive and secondly, the procedure is extremely expensive.
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Physical Therapy Can Be An Important Part Of Treatment For Many People With Arthritis Heres The Advice Pts Wish They Could Give Everyone
By the time you get diagnosed with arthritis you may have a panel of different doctors and nurses whove helped you along the way, but there are other medical professionals who can have a big impact on your health and comfort including occupational therapists, mental health experts, and physical therapists.
Physical therapists are best known for guiding people through exercises to help with rehabilitation and manage pain, but they are so much more than a personal trainer, says Lauren Lobert, a physical therapist and owner of APEX Physical Therapy. A good PT will employ a variety of techniques, including targeted exercises and stretches, manual therapy, and biomechanical analysis among other things. They can help you maintain your health long-term by creating a program that you can use out of their office, giving you the tools to manage arthritis flare-ups and improve your daily quality of life, she says.
We talked to a group of physical therapists for their best advice for people managing arthritis:
Before And After Exercise
If you can, put a moist-heat pack on your arthritic knee for 20 minutes before you start exercising. Heat is soothing and it also brings the blood to the surface, decreases stiffness, and sometime relieves pain.
If you take pain medications, try taking them about 45 minutes before you exercise for increased pain control during your workout.
After exercising, put an ice pack on the sore knee for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help to bring down any swelling caused by exercise. It will also help to soothe and relieve pain.
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Is Physical Activity Important
Light to moderate physical activity can make a big difference in the quality of life of osteoarthritis patients. Swimming, walking and bike riding are all activities that can help build strength without introducing unnecessary load on the joints. These exercises, along with a healthy diet and plenty of water, can help overweight patients lose weight, an important step in reducing extra joint pain and pressure.
Its important to remember that your therapist will also advise an at home plan to complement the work accomplished in the clinic for lifelong self-management of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Sachiko Garner, PT, is a licensed Physical Therapist. Employed with HPRC since 2005, she received her MSPT degree in 2004 at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and her BS degree in Exercise Science/Athletic Training at Columbus State University in 2001. She is credentialed as a Clinical Instructor and certified in the treatment of myofascial pain and dysfunction with dry needling and ASTYM. Her specialties and interests include shoulder rehabilitation, post-breast cancer rehabilitation including lymphedema and running biomechanics. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Orthopedic Section of the APTA.
Switch Up Your Workouts Up
Its easy to get in a rut with exercise but its better for your joints if you can be flexible with your workouts, Vann says. Its really about finding the right type of exercise and modifying activities so you can keep moving without serious pain, she explains. That might mean walking one week, swimming the next, and lifting weights in between. Your physical therapist can recommend specific activities that will work best for you at your current pain level, she adds.
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Treating A Meniscus Tear With Physical Therapy
You’ve developed some knee pain, and you are having difficulty walking and climbing stairs without pain. You visit your healthcare provider, and an MRI is done which shows a knee meniscus tear. Surgery is recommended. It seems reasonable, but is it absolutely necessary? Are there other alternatives to surgery for a knee meniscus tear?
Recent research indicates that a course of physical therapy can yield the same outcome as surgery for a torn meniscus in your knee.
How Physical Therapy For Knee Arthritis Can Help With The Pain And Stiffness
Kneeling while weeding your vegetable garden. Chasing your kids or grandkids around the backyard. Squatting down to look for something under the bathroom sink. These are all activities that many people do every day. But they can also become much harder to do when you have knee arthritis.
Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain and stiffness. Its estimated that 10% of men and 13% of women over 60 have this knee issue. Physical therapy is a treatment option you should strongly consider if you have knee arthritis. In fact, therapy specialists can help treat knee arthritis symptoms in many ways.
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