Physical Therapy in Columbia, SC: Natural Relief for Joint Pain
Arthritis is a general term that actually encompasses hundreds of different diseases. Whether you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other type of arthritis, two of the primary symptoms are inflammation and joint pain.
Whatever type of arthritis you suffer from, you’re likely struggling to overcome varying degrees of pain. If you are taking opioids for arthritis pain, we’re here to let you know that there is a better option.
Find relief with physical therapy
Physical therapy can be an effective alternative to taking opioids for arthritis pain.
There are several specific ways that a physical therapist can help an individual struggling with arthritis pain, including:
- Ergonomic modifications – A physical therapist will be able to make suggestions for your home environment that can help ease arthritic pain. These might include mats to stand on in your kitchen, ergonomic chairs, or certain types of mattresses or bedding you can use.
- Assistive devices – During physical therapy treatment you can also learn how to correctly use devices such as braces, canes, or walkers.
- Targeted exercises – A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will increase flexibility and strength. These exercises can also reduce the pain you experience when carrying out daily activities. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, research shows that individuals with arthritis can exercise without making pain worse.
- Electrical stimulation – TENS is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy. This type of physical therapy includes pulses of electricity used to target arthritis pain. A physical therapist can place electrodes on the skin over the area of pain. Low amounts of electricity pass through to the joints. This can temporarily relieve arthritis pain.
- Manual therapy – A physical therapist can provide massage or use hot or cold therapy to ease arthritic pain. Massage can help improve circulation which can reduce joint pain.
If you’re struggling with arthritis pain, a trained physical therapist can work with you to increase your mobility while decreasing pain.
What should I know about opioids?
Opioids are powerful narcotics that work to cause numb relief. They have the ability to bind to the brain’s opioid receptors and to limit the messages of pain sent to the brain. Both oxycodone and morphine are considered to be opioids.
While opioid drugs may be beneficial when carefully used over a short period of time, they are not without serious drawbacks. They are highly addictive and they often interact with other drugs. Approximately 42,000 deaths related to opioid overdoses occurred in 2016.
If you are currently taking some type of opioid for your arthritis pain, it is important to know that there is a safer alternative that can reduce and even eliminate pain.
Is arthritis impacting your everyday life?
If you’re struggling with osteoarthritis, you’re likely to experience pain, stiffness, and limited flexibility. Rheumatoid arthritis may cause similar symptoms and may affect organs in the body.
Psoriatic arthritis and gout are also types of arthritis that can cause varying levels of pain, inflammation, and mobility. Arthritis pain may affect even the simplest of daily activities.
Washing, cooking, and walking up and down the stairs can prove difficult with any of these types of arthritis. The severity of the pain may also change on a daily basis. Because of this, it can become too easy to rely on powerful pain medications to cope with arthritis pain.
What else should I consider besides opioids?
It is quite common for people who have arthritis pain to resort to expensive surgery, steroid injections, and prescription medications to cope with their pain.
Sometimes, patients with severe arthritis may benefit from these treatments. However, more often than not, physical therapy and natural treatments are the best route to take.
Arthritis does not discriminate either, and although it is often found in elderly patients, it can affect anyone at any age.
According to a study on JAMA, “[rheumatoid] arthritis (RA) occurs in about 5 per 1000 people and can lead to severe joint damage and disability.”
Arthritis is also one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. If left untreated by a professional, patients with arthritis may experience extremely painful symptoms over a long period of time.
If you want to learn more about how physical therapy can benefit you and reduce your arthritis pain, please call our office today.
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Even if you are already taking opioids, an individualized physical therapy program may help you reduce the amount of medication you are taking.