5 Facts About Arthritis from a DPT
Arthritis is a symptom of living. Many people can live a normal life with Arthritis without pain; at Live Life Physiotherapy, we have experience prescribing physical therapy direction on how to live life with Arthritis and without pain. Arthritis is common degenerative disc/joint disease, but adding physical therapy to your routine can relieve your symptoms, build strength for fall risk prevention, and vastly improve your quality of life.
5 facts about arthritis:
- A Lot of People Have it!
- The Less You Move, the More it Hurts!
- Let Pain Be Your Guide – Your Prognosis is Not Your X-Ray/MRI Results
- Weight Plays a Role in Pain
- Don’t Feed the Fall Risk Beast
A Lot of People Have it!
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. The CDC estimates 22.7% of the population were told by a physician that they have the condition (https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/national-statistics.html). That said, 43% of people over 40 that have never had knee pain show signs of arthritis on an MRI (https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/53/20/1268).
People who aren’t in pain from Arthritis are staying active enough to remain pain free. However, most people when they are diagnosed with Arthritis let fear reduce the activities keeping their joints healthy and mobile.
The Less You Move, the More it Hurts!
You read that right, less mobile joints lead to more pain. People who don’t exercise regularly experience pain 5.5% more often than those meeting physical activity recommendations. Physical activity increases joint lubrication, joint nourishment, and circulation. It may be uncomfortable at first, but a physical therapist can help you find the next best step to ease you into exercise. If you need guidance, Live Life Physiotherapy is here waiting to help you!
Follow this link for more ways to get moving while nourishing your joints: https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html#important.
Let Pain Be Your Guide – Your Prognosis is Not Your X-Ray/MRI Results
Prognosis may have been mentioned during an appointment with your doctor, but basically it is defined as the forecast of a likely course of a disease or ailment. Pain is a protective response and an output from our brain. A “sensitized” joint sends signals to the brain, but the brain organizes that sensation in order of importance of everything else in the environment. If you were being chased by a bear, your brain would decide fear of the bear is more important than your knee pain, and your pain would decrease in priority and intensity.
You can trick your brain into organizing your pain this way without fear; our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions determine how we perceive pain. If you feel Arthritis is a crippling sentence, it will be just that. Make sure you work with someone who takes the time to address the reasons behind your pain, and takes a whole-body approach. Sleep hygiene, nutrition, and doubt surrounding physical activity all play a role in how much pain you are experiencing.
Weight Plays a Huge Role in Pain
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces pain and disability for anyone with arthritis. The lighter and stronger you are, the less pressure is applied on sensitive and degrading joints. Less pressure means slowing the progression of your arthritis. If you commit to losing weight, there will be benefits galore, including less pain!
Don’t Feed the Fall Risk Beast
As you get older, your risk of falls has an opportunity to rise, but you don’t have to let it. Keep it at bay with fall risk prevention. You might not be at an age that you are even thinking about falls, but pain can increase your current and future fall risk!
People with pain generally allow themselves to reduce their activity, and with the pandemic the amount of people reducing their activity is rising. If you stop challenging your balance and strength by exercising, you are at higher risk for falls regardless of age, and they will happen earlier than you think (https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/joint-protection/osteoarthritis-and-falls). Physical therapy can help you stay active, prevent unnecessary pain, and decrease your fall risk.
Arthritis is common, and a diagnosis doesn’t tell you how you will be impacted by Arthritis. Many people can live a normal life with the disease without pain with the help of physical therapy. Your physical therapist will help give you the tools to relieve your symptoms, build strength for fall risk prevention, and improve your quality of life.
About Live Life Physiotherapy
Live Life Physiotherapy provides a COVID-19-friendly alternative to a physical therapy clinic, through mobile physical therapy. We provide outpatient physical therapy to San Diego, La Mesa, El Cajon, Santee, and the surrounding area.
Outpatient physical therapy treatments include but aren’t limited to; telehealth physical therapy, hands on physical therapy, rehabilitation physical therapy, in home physical therapy, labral tears, sciatica massage, low back pain, TMJ physical therapy, Rotator cuff surgery recovery, and sleeping positions for low back pain. We can even connect you with a MVA attorney to help you find a lawyer after a car accident. Reach out today so we can help you Live Life, the way you want to live it.
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