Discover Joint Pain Relief with Physical Therapy
June 27, 2024

Discover Joint Pain Relief with Physical Therapy

Millions of people experience some form of joint pain during their lifetime, whether diagnosed or not. While some forms of pain are not curable, physical therapy is an excellent tool to reduce the effects of underlying conditions and improve overall mobility and well-being. Still, the effectiveness of PT is reliant on various tools and modalities, but finding the right treatments and therapies depends on uncovering individual ailments and understanding the cause of joint discomfort.  

Joint Pain

Understanding Joint Pain

Arthralgia, or joint pain, is a common ailment that affects many people. It is non-discriminatory, meaning it affects people of all ages and activity levels. It can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain that restricts movement and hinders daily activities. Understanding the various types of joint pain is vital to effectively treating and managing the condition.

The four types of joint pain are acute, chronic, inflammatory, and mechanical. Acute pain is short-lived and often comes on suddenly because of an injury or illness. Chronic pain typically stems from conditions like arthritis and persists for months or is ongoing. Inflammatory pain affects the tissues around the joint and is typically a consequence of rheumatoid arthritis. Finally, mechanical pain stems from repetitive movements and affects the joint structure.

PT Techniques for Joint Pain Relief

Physical therapists use a combination of therapeutic exercises, manual therapies, and modalities for pain management and rehabilitation. Most people associate PT with exercise, and they are not wrong. Exercise is an effective tool against many health conditions, including joint pain. 

To address specific joint pain issues, a therapist designs a custom exercise routine to improve flexibility, build strength around affected joints, and promote endurance. For example, a therapist might suggest hamstring stretches for knee pain, shoulder stretches for rotator cuff issues, or neck stretches for cervical pain. Over time, the gentle stretches can improve a client's range of motion, restoring natural movement. 

Physical therapy Estacada also uses strength-building exercises with a focus on the muscles surrounding affected joints. Using bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, or light weights, a therapist guides a client through targeted exercises that enhance stability and support, reducing stress on the joint.

Manual therapies include techniques like joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization. Combining the two techniques can help improve joint function, realigning the joints and promoting healing.

Modalities like cold and heat therapies complement therapeutic exercises and manual therapies. Depending on a client's pain level, therapists might use electrical stimulation or ultrasound therapy. Electrical stimulation uses a low-voltage device to block pain signals and stimulate the release of endorphins. Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to generate heat deep in the tissue, promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation.

Practical Joint Pain Relief Tips

While attending physical therapy Oregon City or at a location near you is ideal for joint pain relief, you can make other changes to help reduce your pain at home. Some things you can do on your own include:

  • Weight management
  • Ergonomic work stations
  • Assistive devices (braces, splints, or canes)
  • Exercise programs

A do-it-yourself approach is not the best idea for everyone. If you have joint pain that is affecting your daily life, consult with a professional physical therapist in your area to learn what you can do to find some relief.