Treatment for Arthritis

The National Institute of Arthritis reports that “studies have shown that exercise helps people with arthritis in many ways. Exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness and increases flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. It also helps with weight reduction and contributes to an improved sense of well-being.”

Outpatient Physical and Occupational therapists can help people who experience symptoms and limitations resulting from arthritis.

A therapist will evaluate the patient’s range of motion, limitations in strength and function. Based on the results of the evaluation, an individualized treatment plan is developed for the client and may include:

  • Pain relief methods including TNS, ultrasound, phonophoresis, iontophoresis, low level laser light therapy, fluidotherapy and electrical stimulation.
  • Instruction in the proper use of pain relief methods at home including moist heat, cold packs, TNS and paraffin
  • Education in joint protection techniques
  • Instruction in home exercise program aimed at decreasing pain and stiffness
  • Recommendations for adaptive equipment to lessen stress on painful areas and promote independent function
  • Fabrication of splints for joint protection
  • Postural exercises and education
  • Instruction in proper body mechanics and lifting techniques
  • Core strengthening exercises
  • Referral to a certified orthotist or prosthetist
  • Patients are typically seen by the therapist two to three times per week for several weeks and progressed to a home program.