As we age, our joints may start wearing down and deteriorating in a condition called osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is particularly hard on your weight-bearing joints. Research shows that physical therapy can be beneficial in the management of osteoarthritis.

Evaluation & Assessment

Your physical therapist will conduct an evaluation to determine your levels of physical ability, checking your:

  • Range of motion
  • Muscular strength
  • Balance and stability

Personalized Care Plan

Based on the assessment, your therapist will determine:

  • The nature and degree of disability, if any
  • What services you’ll need
  • What therapeutic interventions may be helpful

Your PT will then create a personalized care plan that meets your individual needs. As you progress through therapy, your therapist will regularly re-evaluate your care plan.

Physical Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Your PT is specially trained in working with patients with osteoarthritis. Your therapy may include:

  • Targeted, prescriptive exercises to improve:
    • Flexibility
    • Strength
    • Range of motion
  • Orthotic devices to help provide balance and support
    • Special shoes
    • Braces or splints
  • Modalities to decrease pain and swelling
    • Taping
    • Ice
    • Heat
    • Electrical stimulation
    • Ultrasound
  • Unweighting therapy with AlterG treadmill
    • Reduces pressure on your joints
    • Less painful on your joints

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Your physician may recommend physical therapy to help:

  • Reduce or eliminate pain
  • Reduce swelling
  • Avoid surgery
  • Keep your joints moving smoothly and fluidly
  • Maintain muscular strength
  • Make it easier to walk, bend, kneel, squat and sit
  • Improve your ability to complete your activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Slow the progression of the disease

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