5 Techniques to Relieve Arthritis Pain
Arthritis (inflammation of the joints) can cause pain in any joint in your body, from your shoulders to your ankles. It may also cause joint weakness and keep you from completing daily tasks.
Physical therapy techniques can help you find relief from arthritis pain and weakness. These noninvasive techniques are safe and can help you keep doing the things you love, whether that’s dancing, gardening, or simply taking a stroll around the neighborhood.
Your physical therapist can teach you multiple techniques for arthritis pain relief. You can:
Apply Heat or Cold
Heat can provide great pain relief for aching joints. Gentle heat can help loosen any joint stiffness and relax the muscles and tendons around the joint. A relaxed joint is a less painful joint.
But cold therapy can also help with arthritis. Cold can help calm inflammation that may leave your joint looking swollen or red. While heat can loosen muscles before activity, cold can help ease swelling and irritation after activity.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Arthritis and arthritis pain can grow worse if your joint is under a lot of pressure. By strengthening the muscles around your joint with gentle, safe exercise, you help transfer some weight and pressure to the muscles and off of the bones.
Your physical therapist can design an exercise plan to do at home to build up muscle strength. Over time, you should find that you can move more and for a longer period of time without severe arthritis pain.
Use Assistive Devices
Assistive devices like canes and walkers also take pressure off your joints. Your physical therapist can teach you how to properly use these devices to take as much weight off your joint as possible. These devices may be especially helpful for arthritis pain in the knees.
Braces and supports can also help with arthritis pain. These devices can take some pressure while keeping the joint in a good position for pain relief.
Other items can give you support while you do certain activities. For instance, a soft mat in the kitchen can help ease joint stress while you prepare dinner or wash the dishes. Insoles in your shoes can keep your feet, ankles, and knees aligned to relieve pain.
Your physical therapist can help you find the right supportive devices for your arthritis and lifestyle.