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How Physical & Occupational Therapy Can Help People With Osteoarthritis?

Updated: Nov 25, 2021



Osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint disorder. It is popularly called “wear and tear” arthritis, caused by the breakdown of the joint cartilage between the bones. It is prevalent in over 32.5 million US adults, according to an article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common symptoms are tenderness and loss of flexibility. One can also experience swelling, bone spurs and stiffness. The symptoms can also range from normal to moderate to severe.

Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for osteoarthritis. A therapy team consisting of various specialists can provide effective pain relief through home adaptations, exercises and joint protection techniques to alleviate the symptoms, according to experts at Coastal Home Rehab. Take a look at how physical and occupational therapy can stop the progression of the disease in the long run.

Physical Therapy for Osteoarthritis

The first line of treatment is usually patient education and physiotherapy. Extra body weight can exert pressure on the knee, which is detrimental for people with osteoarthritis. Therefore, losing those extra pounds is absolutely necessary to be able to heal efficiently. Medical practitioners recommend a healthy diet and lifestyle to reach the correct BMI. In fact, dealing with obesity is extremely important to ease joint pressure and see better results with physical therapy.

Further, individualized programs are designed to promote joint strength. This helps increase balance and range of motion. Light activities like aerobics or walking are beneficial for dull pain, which could increase with trauma or fatigue. Patients are also advised to adjust the workplace sitting area to decrease the strain on the body.

Occupational Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can limit your ability to perform regular activities. At this point, occupational therapy comes to the rescue and helps you strengthen skills required to continue with the activities of daily living, according to an article by Medical News Today. The doctor will create a plan that lets you go about your daily tasks at work, social gatherings and personal life.

A therapist will evaluate the symptoms first. This helps determines the condition of the baseline tissues and helps set appropriate goals for the treatment sessions. Occupational therapy also provides a mental boost by increasing confidence and reducing dependence.

The therapists are known for their patience, enthusiasm and determination. They evaluate your medical records for a better understanding of your present condition. Next, a custom treatment plan is created based on your medical reports, such as X-rays and lab tests. However, for severe complications, visit a doctor for appropriate medication and supportive devices.