Tackling arthritis with physical therapy

Ignoring joint pain won’t make it go away

By Sarah Juul, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Does your arthritis cause joint pain that makes it difficult to work out? Do you wake up with joint stiffness or have a hard time moving in the morning? Have you noticed increased swelling or reduced motion in a joint that has been diagnosed with arthritis? If you answer yes to any of these questions, it’s time to see a physical therapist.

More than 52 million adults in the U.S. have some type of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis, which involves the breakdown of cartilage covering the ends of joints. This can lead to joint pain and stiffness, which is usually worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity, and can make it hard to do the activities you love. Physical therapy is proven to effectively treat arthritis and can help improve your range of motion, reduce swelling and pain, and get you back to the activities you’ve been avoiding.

The MTI physical therapists at the WAC Wellness Center are here for you. Our team has been recognized by the Arthritis Foundation as providing a gold standard of care to people living with this condition.

Treatment typically involves soft tissue massage, joint mobilizations, and specific exercises that work to increase joint lubrication and optimize the health of your cartilage as well as improve muscle support to the affected joints.

In addition to physical therapy, at-home exercises can help continue your arthritis care. Some easy ways to relieve arthritis pain include:

  • • Apply hot packs to the affected areas or take a warm shower.
  • • Execute gentle range-of-motion exercises before getting out of bed to warm up your joints.
  • • Stay active throughout the day as much as possible within your pain limits.
  • • Walk. It’s one of the best ways to keep hip and knee cartilage healthy.
  • Aqua aerobics, including the kind offered in the WAC pool

In addition to analyzing and treating arthritis and other pain, the physical therapists at the WAC work closely with the Club’s personal training team to take your care to the next level. By teaming together, we deliver clients holistic and sustainable pain-management solutions and provide a better quality of life and a path toward achieving your optimal health.

You don’t need to live with pain and discomfort. With proper guidance, you can alleviate and in many cases eliminate your arthritis pain.

—Manual Therapy International physical therapists work out of the WAC Wellness Center, located on the 4th Floor of the Clubhouse. WAC members may schedule physical therapy in the Wellness Center by calling 206.839.4780 or emailing wac@mtipt.com

As published in the January/February/March 2021 issue of WAC Magazine.

—Posted January 19, 2021

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