Chronic joint pain is a common ailment among elderly men and women. As the body ages, the joints in the hands and feet can become swollen. Even though it’s common, you might not know that painful swelling in the joints can eventually result in bone erosion, joint deformity, and damaged body systems. If you’re suffering from chronic pain due to inflammation in the joints, you may be suffering from an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder. The condition usually affects joints in the hands and feet, but can also affect more than just joints if your immune system attacks the tissues in your body. This type of arthritis can lead to physical disabilities, including the inability to walk or sit comfortably. The most common signs of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Swollen joints
- Joint stiffness
- Wight loss
For those who are battling this disease, you know that rheumatoid arthritis pain is not to be taken lightly. Luckily, there are many physical therapy exercises that can be performed at home. Daily exercise can help provide pain relief and increase motion when combined with professional treatment. Always consult your physician before performing any exercises at home.
When you meet with a physical therapist, they may suggest exercises that you can perform at home as part of your treatment plan. When your joints are in pain, it can be counterintuitive to want to exercise. However, exercise and aerobic movement can actually help manage pain. Here are some exercises that your physical therapist may suggest you incorporate into your weekly fitness routine.
- Exercises like walking, biking, or a low-impact group fitness class
- Stretching arms, hamstrings, wrists, ankles, groin, shoulders
- Beginner yoga class
- Lightweight lifting
Overall your workouts should:
- Break a sweat
- Build muscles
- Increase range of motion
- Not hurt – if you’re in pain, stop what you’re doing!
Physical Therapy Benefits
Physical therapy is a form of health care that provides progressive treatment of the physical body. When used properly, physical therapy can help alleviate pain and soreness caused by arthritis. To begin, a physical therapist will assess your joints and connecting limbs. All parts of your extremities work together, and pain can be connected to other joints in your body. Before you meet with a physical therapist for treatment, you should be able to clearly describe where the pain is coming from and what symptoms you are having.
Your physical therapist will advise you on the types of exercises you should be performing at home. It’s important to communicate your symptoms and progress with your physical therapist at every session.
Santé is proud to offer a variety of senior healthcare options, including in-home physical therapy. From our Transitional Rehabilitation Centers and Hospice to our Home Health component, Santé’s goal is to reshape the after-hospitalization care industry and revolutionize the way guests and patients heal their mind, body, and spirit. For more information about our physical therapy and other health care services, call us at (480) 563-2402 or stop by one of our five Arizona locations.