Arthritis - The Painful Truth You Need To Know | PRO Therapy
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Arthritis – The Painful Truth

Have you been told you have arthritis? 

Maybe you think that you have arthritic symptoms? 

Are you concerned that you may develop arthritis? 

When you hear the word arthritis you’ll probably be thinking about chronic pain, stress and incurability. We want to help you limit the impact of arthritis on your life. 

We understand that the fear of arthritis can be paralyzing. We also know how severe the pain caused by arthritis can be. It’s totally understandable to be worried about experiencing these pains. 

We want you to know that there is help out there. We can provide relief for chronic arthritic pain. We also want to reassure you about the potential of developing arthritic symptoms. 

There is nothing abnormal about the pain caused by arthritis. Our physical therapy can help to provide the perfect remedy that you need to fight back against arthritis. Take back control of your life. 

What is arthritis

The Myth Of Losing Your Independence 

We appreciate that it can be tough to be diagnosed with arthritis. The symptoms can also be quite alarming. 

We recognize the stigma surrounding the word arthritis and want to reassure you that there are ways to treat and manage the symptoms. 

You may be thinking of certain stereotypes surrounding arthritis, like old age and restricted freedoms. It doesn’t matter what age you may be, arthritis can affect anyone. 

Another common thought is about how arthritis may affect movement. We know that a big part of the fear surrounding arthritis can be the restriction of your mobility. 

Your mobility and independence is our priority. 

After being diagnosed, it can feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. We want you to know that we’re here to support you. Our physical therapy program helps to control the symptoms that may restrict your mobility. 

Our purpose here is to eliminate the myths surrounding arthritis. 

Losing Your Independence

What Is Arthritis? 

You might be asking yourself, what actually is arthritis? Do I have the symptoms? Could I develop it in the future? 

Arthritis is a completely normal change in the joints that usually occurs with older age. It is a common problem that can cause great amounts of pain and inflammation. 

There are two main types of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis

The most common form of arthritis. Occurring when the cartilage sheath protecting the ends of the bones break down. The joints then begin to grind against each other without this protective covering causing discomfort. 

The most common areas this can affect are: the hands, knees, hips and spine. 

Osteoarthritis is commonly associated with joint pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. Other symptoms can include swelling, tenderness or cracking sounds when moving. 

Symptoms can display as mild or severe but should always be checked out. Often continuous pain caused in the joints can affect your everyday life. Symptoms can also be mild but it’s best to catch this pain early. 

Does this sound like you?  

  • Aged 45 or over 
  • Pains emanating from overused joints
  • A stiffness in your joints as the day progresses, lasting longer than 30 minutes 

It’s always best to seek advice and we want to help you. Whether you’re worried about early signs of arthritis or you’re anxious about potentially getting symptoms we’re here for you. 

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The outer lining of your joints – the synovium, becomes the first site affected by this form of arthritis. Your body’s immune system begins to target the lining of your joints, causing a lot of pain, discomfort and swelling. 

The afflicted joint can become misshapen by the immune system’s attack. Once this has begun, bone and other forms of cartilage become at risk of being worn down. 

Rheumatoid arthritis also means you’re at risk of developing other issues with your organs (e.g. your lungs and heart) and other various tissues around the body. 

The most effective form of treatment to manage this form of arthritis can be to work with your physical therapist to produce a highly effective exercise program. 

We can help you to set up an exercise program that will help you slowly build up to combat the more severe symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Arthritis and the myths

Who’s at risk?

Women are 3 times more likely to be at risk of this kind of arthritis and it often starts in people between the ages of 40 and 50. Smokers can also be at an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

The people most at risk are those who have a sedentary lifestyle. The relationship between exercise and joint degradation has long been disputed. 

You shouldn’t have to live your life in fear. We’re here to help you and keep you in control. Act quickly so we can help you put an exercise program in place. 

 

Wear And Tear

Studies and research articles are great for viewing statistics around arthritis. However, imaging techniques like MRI and X-rays can only show so much. Painful joints can often be overlooked in imaging techniques like these. 

As you’re probably aware there is an association between arthritis and “wear and tear.” But this isn’t necessarily true, in fact exercise can alleviate and protect against certain arthritic symptoms. 

It was once thought that arthritis was only caused by repetitive movements and general overuse. We want to reassure you that exercise is not usually the cause of arthritis.

Let’s debunk the myths surrounding the causes of arthritis. 

Wear and Tear

What Does The Research Say? 

A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association investigated the relationship between physical activity and arthritis. 

Over 1000 participants who were at high risk of osteoarthritis were followed for 10 years. The participants had no radiographic evidence of any pre diagnosed forms of arthritis.  

The research found that older adults who are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis were able to safely engage in strenuous physical exercises. The study concludes that moderate to strenuous activities actually promoted health and wellbeing. 

In line with this study we want to tell you about our physical therapy program. We aim to control painful symptoms through physical exercises and techniques that are supported by large amounts of evidence.

Can Recreational Exercise Be Bad For Your Arthritis? 

The simple answer? No. 

Let’s take a look at the facts and figures that are working to debunk the link between exercise and arthritis in later life. 

A common association with developing joint stiffness is through sustained recreational exercise like running. This is another myth surrounding the causes of arthritis. 

If you’re a keen jogger we’ve got good news for you. We’re often asked if running during middle age can lead to the development of arthritis in later life. We want to reassure you that this isn’t the case and that “wear and tear” caused by moderate exercise is just a myth.

A study published by the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy investigated the association between hip and knee osteoarthritis and running. Running intensity was the main factor of the study. 

The research concluded that out of the 114,829 participants over 10% of non-runners had knee or hip arthritis. Whereas only 3.4% of recreational runners presented symptoms of hip/knee arthritis. 

Recent research shows that recreational exercise reduces the risk of developing arthritis as compared with a sedentary lifestyle. 

Do you need help to establish a healthy exercise plan? We’re here to support you.

Research of arthritis

What Does It All Mean For You? 

All of this recent research debunks the myth of “wear and tear” as the cause of arthritis in mid to later life. The phrase wear and tear is far from the truth.

It’s time to end the outdated narrative of overuse being the root cause of stiffness and pain.

There are many ways to start exercising to maintain your health and maximise the ways to prevent osteoarthritis:

  • Start slow and build up to more complex and rigorous exercises.
  • When encountering stiffness and joint aches, work with your PT to adjust your exercise plan.
  • Maintain activities that are helpful and easy on the joints. 
  • Think about how you can stay active even if you feel limited by arthritic symptoms. 
  • Talk to a physical health specialist to establish a routine that works for you. 

The best tool to protect against joint pain and stiffness is recreational exercise. And we want you to know that we’re here to help get you back to the lifestyle that you deserve. 

It can be difficult knowing where to start, that’s why we want to offer you a free discovery visit. 

 

It’s Time To Take Action

Do you have questions about how to take the first preventative steps against arthritis? 

Are you worried that you may start experiencing symptoms? 

Are you already suffering from stiffness or joint pain? 

Pain Relief

Whether you’re showing symptoms of joint stiffness or you’re worried about developing arthritis in the future we’re here to help. We can answer all of your burning questions and more. 

Now is the time to take action. It all starts with a phone call. Our physical therapists at PRO therapy are waiting for you to take the first steps towards a healthier future. 

Don’t hesitate we’re here to help even if it’s just a general query.

This is an expansion of a blog written by Ben Schacht on the 23rd of November 2020 you can read this here.

 

 

Kevin Spahr

Kevin Spahr

Dr. Kevin Spahr, Minneapolis, MN Physical Therapist, understands that each patient is unique when it comes to injury and disease management. “The complexity of our bodies requires detailed examination and critical thinking to develop a care plan specific for each patient.” Dr. Spahr places high priority on customized treatment plans to help you reach your personal goals. Dr. Kevin Spahr, originally from Winona, MN, completed his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s University in his hometown. After graduation, he moved up to the Twin Cities metro area in 2005 to pursue his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at St. Catherine University School of Health in Minneapolis, MN. My love and dedication to the world of physical therapy began at a young age dealing with personal injuries sustained in sports. My passion in life has always been to help others, and a physical therapist is the career path I chose. My focus is on you. My goal is to keep you happy and healthy. In his free time, Dr. Spahr enjoys spending time with his wife (Liz), dogs (Mia & Ellie), family and friends when not in the clinic. He also enjoys staying active, exercising and the outdoors.
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