Tips to Relieve Your Aching Joint and Muscles
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States, with the prevalence upwards to 30% for those 60 years old and over. Furthermore, this incidence is expected to rise with the baby boomer generation as well as life expectancy both increasing in age. Along with pain and limited joint mobility, the diagnosis of osteoarthritis is generally accompanied by high occurrences of disability when in the knee and hip; as it accounts for more difficulty with climbing stairs and walking than any other disease. Fortunately, there are many things you can do and risk factors you can avoid which will help reduce your risk of developing symptoms from osteoarthritis as well as functional imitations.
Some modifiable risk factors include weight management, repetitive use, and muscle weakness. In regards to weight management and osteoarthritis, those individuals with a BMI greater than 30 have a 60% chance, roughly double, the risk of developing symptoms from arthritis than those with a lower BMI. To help manage your BMI, consultation with a primary care physician and nutritionist may help, as well as starting a safe, supervised exercise program such as the ones offered at the Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute. In regards to repetitive use, activity modification can help reduce wear and tear on joints resulting in further breakdown and increased pain. Things like reorganizing cabinets to move things off lower shelves; using a bench or stool while gardening or performing other household ADL’s, or raising the height of seating can reduce the incidence of kneeling, crouching, and squatting.
Lastly (and most importantly!) is to improve the strength of surrounding muscles and keeping moving. Improved strength of lower extremity muscles reduces forces through weight bearing arthritic joints, reducing force and strain that cause pain and further breakdown. Additionally, movement creates fluid exchange within a joint which can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and restore function. Starting an exercise program to help manage your arthritis pain, or prevent further breakdown and functional imitation is easy! Just stop by any one of our six centers for a free consultation!
PTW’s Jim Fagnani, DPT is the clinical supervisor of our West Norriton office. For an initial evaluation, call for an appointment today at 610-630-0101 for an appointment as soon as possible, no prescription needed! Our use of specialized manual techniques, modalities, and treatment regiments will help reduce inflammation and scar tissue, restore strength, and improve range of motion.