It’s no small coincidence that October 12th, 2023, is World Arthritis Day and October is National Physical Therapy Month. The conservative treatment of all forms of arthritis really starts with a bed stone of physical therapy. Mobility, strength, range of motion, stability, and balance are all critical components to living with any form of arthritis.
Arthritis is an incredibly common condition affecting millions of Americans. If back pain and back arthritis is included in the overall diagnosis of arthritis, these conditions are the reason for the most disability and the most amount of work missed by Americans annually.
Physical therapy, celebrated throughout the month of October, is an integral part of the treatment of all forms of arthritis. The most common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease or wear and tear of the joints.
The second most common is rheumatoid arthritis, or inflammatory disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is routinely a genetic condition where the parts of the joints are attacked by inflammatory cells as a systemic or body-wide condition. The two types of arthritis, which are most common, are treated in much the same way with anti-inflammatories and, importantly, physical therapy.
Conservative measures may also include such things as further medications, activity modification, injections with steroids or cortisone, and other interventions to avoid, postpone, or prevent the need for surgery. When surgery becomes necessary to treat end-stage arthritis, the most common procedure includes knee replacement followed by hip replacement, shoulder replacement, and then finally, ankle replacement.
The results of these replacements for the treatment of arthritis are outstanding, with more than 90-95% of people saying they have had a significant improvement in their quality of life. Once again, physical therapy plays a critical role in the recovery and ultimate outcome of joint replacement surgery, whether that be the knee, the hip, the shoulder, or the foot and ankle.
At OrthoAlliance and our partner practices, we are excited to celebrate Physical Therapy Month and extremely dedicated to World Arthritis Day and raising awareness of this debilitating condition. But most importantly, raising education that arthritis is a very treatable condition.
If you are suffering and joint pain is causing disability or interfering with your quality of life, be sure to reach out to your primary care doctor, call OrthoAlliance, or look us up on the internet at jisortho.com for further information or to evaluate your arthritis condition to see if treatment would be effective.
Written by: Dr. Keith Berend