Arthritis is the swelling or tenderness of one or more joint due to degeneration of the cartilage and underlying bone.  The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune, chronic inflammatory disorder leading to joint degeneration.

Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage and underlying bone of a joint, most commonly age related, but traumatic injury or repetitive stress can also contribute to its development. This is the most common form of arthritis, with the vast majority of people developing OA in one or more joints as they reach older age.  Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune, chronic inflammatory disorder that leads to joint degeneration.  It is far less common than OA, and can occur at any age, including childhood.

– Age.

– Occupation/hobbies.

– Previous injuries.

– Poor nutrition.

– Genetic predisposition.

– Pain in the joint at rest or with movement.

– Joint stiffness.

– Loss of range of motion.

– Swelling. 

– Pain with weight bearing. 

– Pain worse in the cold or after prolonged immobility (first thing in the morning).

At Home Diagnostic Tests

 – None – see symptoms. 

At Home Care

– Avoid irritating activity. 

– Heat and consistent movement (i.e. stationary bike) tend to improve symptoms. 

– NSAID usage as needed. 

When to Seek Help

Contact your physical therapist if pain does not subside or gets worse after 2 weeks.  For the vast majority or patients, exhaustive physical therapy should be exercised prior to considering surgical intervention as PT has been proven to be as effective as joint scopes for the management of arthritic pain.  Physical therapy should always be included during the post-surgical period.

Inspired Athletx Treatment

Both pre- and post- surgical physical therapy at Inspired Athletx will focus on the same goals:  reduce pain and restore mobility, improve movement patterns and strength, and address lifestyle factors including weight management, exercise regime, and adjustment of daily activities as needed.  Manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, strengthening exercises, and movement training will support the achievement of these goals.  If your arthritis treatment elsewhere primarily consists of heat/ice, electrical stimulation, and the same few exercises, you are not getting excellent (or even adequate) physical therapy!