After being diagnosed with knee or hip osteoarthritis, you may want to try a variety of treatments that can improve your joint function, decrease pain, and slow the progression of the disease. One option is Physical Therapy.
With arthritis, the muscles surrounding the joint can become weak and stiff. This makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as walking or getting out of bed. Physical Therapy can help reduce pain, swelling, stiffness and improve overall joint function. Having stronger muscles surrounding your arthritic joints can make it easier for you to walk, bend, kneel, squat, and sit.
Your Physical Therapist may use a combination of techniques to restore your joint function and strength. Some of these techniques include:
Range-of-motion exercises:Abnormal motion of a joint can lead to worsening of your arthritis symptoms by adding stress on the joint. Performing flexibility exercises regularly can help restore normal joint function.
Muscle strengthening:Keeping the muscles around a joint strong is essential to preserve joint health. People with arthritis who follow strengthening programs tend to have less pain and improved overall quality of life.
Activity Recommendations:A Physical Therapist can prescribe exercises that will address the problem while avoiding excessive stress on a joint.
Cold therapy: To help decrease swelling surrounding a joint.
Heat therapy: To increase blood flow and decrease stiffness in the joints and muscles surrounding the joint.
Hydrotherapy: Also known as aquatic therapy, this treatment uses water to decrease yourosteoarthritis symptoms. The soothing warm water will not aggravate your joint andit can help facilitate motion and decrease pain.