Simply put, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis, and it is the most common chronic illness in the country. Many people suffer from arthritis long before they receive a diagnosis.

Causes and Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis can be caused by a variety of reasons. It is classified as a rheumatic disease. Men, women and even children can have arthritis.

The symptoms of arthritis include limited joint function, pain, swelling, and redness. Arthritis in the knee can cause a loss of cartilage, and arthritis in the fingers can cause bone growth. Arthritis can also affect the organs and cause fatigue, weight loss or fever.

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Treatment for Arthritis

The pain and stiffness from arthritis can be debilitating, and there’s no cure for it. And even if you’re prescribed medication, it’s only short-term relief. That’s why many patients today turn to physical therapy for long-term relief.

A physical therapist can teach you:

  • Exercises tailored to improve joint usage, strength, and mobility
  • Proper body mechanics
  • Correct posture to protect the joints
  • How to properly use walking aids when needed

The goals of a physical therapy treatment program are to restore lost abilities, prevent further loss of use, maintain fitness and help you to take part in normal daily activities. Treatment for arthritis should start early for the best outcome.

The key to the best outcome from physical therapy is to learn the exercises that your physical therapist shows you and practicing every day at home. Consistency is important. How many times you’ll need to see a physical therapist depends on the severity of your condition. And if you have a flare-up, you can return to change your treatment strategy or to update your exercise program.