Have your joints been bothering you consistently for a few months? Well, you’re not alone. Joint pain plagues an alarming number of Americans for several reasons, including chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis. If you have chronic joint pain, it’s important that you don’t ignore it.
Allowing your condition to worsen could cause further health issues in the future. For information about the cause of joint pain and how physical therapy techniques can help relieve your pain, give our office a call and set up an appointment with one of our certified physical therapists.
All about your joints
Healthline states that joint pain refers to “discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body’s joints.” Chronic joint pain lasts for months and can even last a lifetime for some individuals. Pain may range from moderate to severe. Depending on your condition, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist for further evaluation, but have no fear! You’re not alone in this — joint is extremely common.
The joints form where the ends of two bones meet, such as the elbow, knee, and hip. The joint components have a capsule, which is a sac that holds the joint. It’s filled with a substance called synovial fluid for lubrication. There is also cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in the specific joint.
WebMD’s site outlines a study that shows about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain. This just goes to show that joint pain can affect any part of your body, and as you age, it’s more likely you’ll experience this problem.
Common causes of joint pain
One of the most common causes of chronic joint pain is arthritis. This includes rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis progresses slowly and typically affects the knees, hips, hands, and wrists. It can cause inflammation, pain, and fluid buildup.
Other causes of chronic joint pain are:
- Mumps, influenza, hepatitis
- Tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendon
- Bone or joint infections
- Overuse injuries
The symptoms of chronic joint pain generally include inflammation, stiffness, tenderness around the joint area, decreased range of motion, and decreased mobility. If your joint pain persists for more than three days, it’s safe to say it’s become chronic, and it’s high time to see a doctor about your condition!
How can physical therapy help chronic joint pain?
A physical therapist is a movement specialist that will be able to custom tailor a therapeutic exercise program to strengthen your body, increase your mobility and reduce pain. Research has shown that exercise offers many benefits and improvements from long-term pain.
A physical therapist will focus on the surrounding area of the joint pain.
The goal is to reduce swelling, decrease pain, restore functionality, and improve range of motion. Research has found that these types of manual therapies are beneficial for those who suffer from chronic joint pain.
For example, if you suffer from knee pain, your physical therapy treatment plan will address issues and impairments at your hips, ankles, and lower back. All of these areas contribute to proper knee control and mechanics.
Manual therapies will be used to increase your mobility and to decrease your pain. These techniques will likely include soft tissue mobilization and joint stabilization. Soft tissue mobilization is a hands-on technique that is used on muscles, fascia, and ligaments. It breaks up any existing adhesions.
At your first appointment, your physical therapist will do a comprehensive evaluation of your current condition. This will help them to determine where your pain symptoms are stemming from. They will also ask you questions about your medical history as well as any past events that may have occurred to cause you pain. From there, a unique treatment plan will be created especially for your needs. This will involve targeted stretches and exercises to improve your range of motion, flexibility, and mobility of your joints.
If at any time you feel uncomfortable during your treatment, let your therapist know! Their goal is to have you leaving the office with less pain than when you arrived, not the other way around. If there is ever any exercise you cannot comfortably do, they will know how to adjust it so that you can complete it successfully.
Contact our clinic today
If you’re seeking relief from stiffness and chronic joint pain, our physical therapists can help. We use research-proven treatments for quick relief and help our patients get back to their normal lifestyle. Call our office today for a one-on-one consultation and evaluation, and get back to living a pain-free life!