Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
May is Arthritis Awareness Month
Amy Genthe, MSPT
Porter Hills Home Care
Watch the WZZM Senior Wellness segment on this topic.
The term “arthritis” refers to many different conditions that result in joint pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of adults every year. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breaking down of the cartilage or cushion in a joint. When this cushion breaks down, it results in joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Advancing age is a big predictor for arthritis, but increased body weight, family history and prior joint injuries can also put a person at risk for developing osteoarthritis.
A person can manage their mild to moderate arthritis symptoms by maintaining a healthy body weight, using moist heat or cold packs, taking over the counter pain medications (check with your doctor first) and doing gentle flexibility exercises and strengthening.
A physical therapist can help you to set up a gentle stretching and strengthening program to help you reclaim lost function and slow the progress of your symptoms.
Physical therapists also work with clients to modify their environments or use equipment to make it easier to accomplish normal daily activities. Some examples include:
- prescribing, fitting, and instructing clients in the use of canes and walkers to make walking and stairs easier
- Suggesting locations for grab bars to make showering or getting in and out of the house easier and less painful
- Raising furniture to make it easier to go from sitting to standing
In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be indicated.
The Arthritis Foundation is an excellent source of information about arthritis, managing symptoms and treatment options.
Porter Hills Home Care offers Physical Therapy in the comfort of your home. Therapies include
- Balance and gait training, including fall prevention
- Muscle re-education
- Therapeutic exercises
- Prosthetic training for patients with amputations
- Home modification adjustments
- Instruct on proper use of assistive devices