Living with Joint Pain? Consult with a Physiotherapist or Chiropractor
Do you have more trouble getting around during the day than you once did? Are you having trouble keeping up with the basic demands of your job? Do you look for excuses to withdraw from some of your favourite activities simply because it hurts to move?
Joint pain can turn even the most routine tasks into dreaded chores – or make them totally impossible to perform at all. You need to address this issue before it gets so bad that you can’t do anything.
Fortunately, at LEAPS AND BOUNDS PERFORMANCE REHABLITATION, you can get much of the help you need through physiotherapy or chiropractic care. Our practitioners can help you optimize your mobility without drugs or surgery, so contact us today!
Physiotherapy and chiropractic for joint pain – how can it help?
Most cases of joint pain will respond to conservative, non-surgical forms of care. But not all such forms of care are equally useful. For example, you may have already noticed that pain-relieving drugs only go so far to ease your symptoms, while doing nothing to address their causes.
One of our physiotherapists or chiropractor can help your joints function more normally, improving your musculoskeletal health, with a greater pain-free range of movement as a natural result. Options for joint pain include:
- Strength training to build up the strength in your joints’ supporting tissues.
- Stretches to increase your mobility and joint flexibility.
- A tailored walking, swimming, or cycling program to keep your joints moving.
- Soft tissue and joint mobilizations to control the pain without drugs.
- Education on mitigating inflammation in the early phases of healing and progressively loading your joints in the latter phases.
- Lifestyle/ergonomic recommendations to help you perform daily tasks more comfortably.
During your first visit with a physiotherapist or chiropractor, be prepared to talk about your symptoms. If your doctor has already diagnosed the condition that is causing your pain, your practitioner should know this. Your therapist will need to know about the type of joint pain you are experiencing, the times of day when the pain is worse, and any physical activities that you engage in on a regular basis (for example, do you have a job that requires physical labour or sitting at a desk all day, or are you retired and less active?).
Your therapist will likely run you through a series of simple tests during your first visit. These will be done to test your range of motion, balance, and strength. This information will be used to help create a customized plan of care to help you relieve the joint pain, while strengthening muscles to help support the joints. Your plan will likely contain a combination of exercises and manual therapy.
Could one of these conditions be causing your pain?
If you’ve ever ruptured a joint ligament or fractured a bone in a joint, you probably experienced a lot of pain over a set, limited time period. This is known as acute joint pain. But in some ways, chronic joint pain can be much more debilitating as it haunts you for months after month, and year after year.
You may have been told that this kind of pain is commonly caused or worsened by:
- Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a progressive, usually age-related degeneration of the cartilage that normally cushions a joint’s bone ends.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by abnormal immune system responses that attack the linings of joints, producing bouts of swelling, pain, stiffness, and joint damage.
- Degenerative disc disease – Age-related bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and other spinal changes can cause serious joint pain in the neck or back.
Take these with a grain of salt, as they sound scarier than they really are. Simply put, these age-related changes in our joints are normal and should not be considered any scarier than the age-related changes in our skin or in our hair. Can you imagine if we called grey hair degenerative hair disease, or wrinkles degenerative skin disease? Would we be walking around holding our heads and faces in pain?
As for being overweight, there is not really any evidence to support that it causes any of these conditions. What we do know is that being overweight may affect how you feel arthritis-related pain in your knee. Some studies have shown that a 10% loss of body weight can reduce arthritic knee pain by 50%. But let’s not forget the overall benefit that developing a healthy body has on performance and mood.