Arthritis can strike not only the elderly but can also affect individuals in early middle age as well. In fact, elite male athletes are more likely to develop arthritis than the general public. Arthritis medications and pain medicines can cause some nasty side effects. So, if you’re looking for a natural treatment for arthritis, consider meeting with a physical therapist at Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside, Chino, Redlands, or Beaumont CA to learn how you can kick the meds and reduce your arthritis symptoms.
What Is Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. When the cartilage isn’t in-between the bone it causes the bones to rub together, which leads to pain and swelling. Physical therapy can often help to reduce arthritis pain without medication, especially if the arthritis is mild to moderate.
Inflammatory Arthritis: In certain cases, the body’s immune system will attack joint tissues with intense inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is one example of this type of condition. Inflammatory arthritis often has a genetic cause, and doctors usually treat it aggressively with drugs. However, physical therapy is an option for treatment as well.
Metabolic Arthritis: The most common type of metabolic arthritis is gout, a condition caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the extremities, especially the feet. Physical therapy can help gout patients restore range of motion in the affected area and even reduce the buildup of the acidic crystals that accumulate in the joints.
Arthritis in Athletes
According to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, about 30 percent of elite male athletes who engage in contact sports such as football will develop arthritis in the knees and hips. That’s compared to about 19 percent of the general public. The wear and tear on the joints that results from high-contact sports increases the likelihood of developing arthritis. Soccer and handball players were found to be two times “at risk” of arthritis later in life. Hockey players on the other hand are three times as likely to develop arthritis.
Depending on the type of arthritis that a person has, doctors may prescribe NSAID pain relievers, corticosteroids, antirheumatic drugs or antibiotics. All of these carry a risk of side effects, and some can be extremely serious. NSAIDs can lead to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack or stroke. Corticosteroids can contribute to cataracts, cause high blood sugar levels or even contribute to bone loss — which is terrible when you consider that the patient is already dealing with arthritis!
Physical Therapy for Arthritis
The goals when working with a physical therapist for arthritis treatment will include preserving a good range of motion, increasing strength to reduce stress on the joints, and other natural treatment options. Here are some of the benefits of working with our physical therapists:
- Your physical therapist will work with you to control your weight through exercise and diet. Controlling your weight helps to prevent added stress on weight-bearing joints.
- Posture work will help to reduce stress on your joints.
- Light exercises and stretching will help to increase range of motion in the affected areas.
- Your therapist will also recommend a schedule for rest and sleep to complement your exercises. This helps the body to heal and hopefully reduce arthritic inflammation and pain.
Every treatment regimen is different based on your body’s needs and your particular type of arthritis. The best way to get started on a med-free treatment through physical therapy is to contact Marketplace Physical Therapy Riverside, Chino, Redlands, or Beaumont, CA and scheduling an appointment with one of our therapists.