It’s true that as we all age, our joints very plainly are not what they used to be. Joint pain can occur for several reasons, such as a previous injury that has limited your motion or the general “wear and tear” of osteoarthritis that typically comes with age.
What physical therapy treatments will I be prescribed?
Two of the main goals of physical therapy are to relieve your pain and improve your range of motion. A physical therapist strives to help increase your overall health and wellness – and because of this, an individualized treatment plan will be created for your specific needs. Your treatment plan will be dependent upon the nature of your condition, symptoms, lifestyle, and overall health. Your physical therapist may choose to incorporate any of the following:
- Joint mobilization and manual therapy techniques. Joint mobilization and manual therapy techniques can help improve your pain-free range of motion and increase your function. You may also benefit from techniques aimed at breaking up scar tissue, which can form over old injuries and cause chronic stiffness.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises. Stretching and strengthening exercises help injured muscles and connective tissues heal back to their former length and range of motion. These exercises are also good for keeping arthritic joints from becoming stiffer.
- R.I.C.E. RICE stands for “Rest,” “Ice,” “Compression,” and “Elevation.” If you are nursing an acute joint injury, your physical therapist may prescribe this protocol in order to reduce pain and swelling until you are ready to get moving again.
Why did my joint pain develop?
Joint stiffness and pain can develop due to a vast number of reasons. For example, in an acute sprain or strain, the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the joint may be damaged. This can result in painful and immobilizing inflammation.
However, injury to the soft tissues doesn’t have to occur in a dramatic accident — it can also develop slowly over several weeks, months, or even years. If your chosen sport, job, or hobby causes you to repetitively overstress certain joints, you may end up with chronic tendinitis or bursitis. Sometimes, you can even develop soft tissue pain from doing nothing. For instance, a condition called adhesive capsulitis, also known as “frozen shoulder,” can cause your shoulder to become unusable if you’ve had your arm in a sling for a long time.
Perhaps the most common cause of joint pain and stiffness is osteoarthritis. Everyone gets older, and this condition usually stems from age-related deterioration of the cartilage between the bones in a joint. Another common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is a painful and damaging joint condition caused by autoimmune issues.
Get started on your treatments ASAP!
If you’re still looking for a way to reduce your joint pain and improve your mobility, look no further! Our licensed and dedicated physical therapists would be happy to meet with you for a consultation to discuss how our advanced methods can help you find relief. Contact Carlson ProCare today to get started on the right track toward treatment and a pain-free life!