Short answer? Yes, it most definitely does.
It can be hard to get physically active when experiencing arthritis symptoms. Joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and limited mobility can all keep you down for the count. But you shouldn’t let it.
This is where physiotherapy steps in. Untreated arthritis can be debilitating so you’ll want to take action when it comes to treatment and might need a little help figuring out where to get started. Physiotherapists help you understand your movement capabilities and the condition of your joints and muscles. Once you understand your arthritis better, self-managing your symptoms gets easier.
Physiotherapy is all about engaging in physical activity and exercise. When you engage in regular physical activity, the muscles around your joints strengthen and stay strong. Being able to move more frequently allows the natural lubrication of the joints to do its part in reducing stiffness and pain. Besides being a natural pain reliever, physiotherapy exercises also decrease your fatigue and promote long term weight management - all things that can help you take charge of your life with arthritis.
You might be thinking, “great, but why do I even need a physiotherapist to help me exercise? Why don’t I just develop my own plan?”
The benefit of having a physiotherapist is that we know how to custom tailor a plan for you and your specific needs. Those of us who work with many arthritis patients have experience in helping improve the movement patterns that are typical to arthritis joints. A physiotherapist will create a treatment program that addresses the parts of your body that are influencing the joint that is hurting. Our bodies are made up of interconnected parts - when you're targeting your knees you’ll also need to target your back, hips, and ankles because all of those parts support proper knee control.
Physiotherapy isn’t just exercise though. A physiotherapist will help provide you with advice on many helpful topics, such as the use of shoe inserts, ergonomic chairs, walking poles and ways to modify your activities to suit you best. In some cases, manual therapy can also be of help.
So yes, physical therapy is an effective treatment for your arthritis. And physical therapists are helpful when it comes to managing your arthritis because they are licensed professionals who know how to examine, diagnose, and treat your arthritis so you can experience improved mobility, joint strength, fitness, and preserve your ability to perform daily activities.
Helping my Arthritis offers current education and treatment options around first and second-line physiotherapy for hip and knee osteoarthritis patients around Surrey, Delta, and Vancouver BC. With the recent growth in telehealth options, we are able to now offer osteoarthritis management programs to patients living anywhere in BC!