Here at Advanced Physical Therapy, we have helped hundreds of patients recover from arthritis. Unfortunately, arthritis can lead to chronic disability and is often difficult to manage on your own. However, with a carefully designed rehabilitation program, you can prevent the symptoms from worsening and take control of your daily activities. Remember, just because you recently got diagnosed with arthritis, doesn’t mean that you need to live with pain and discomfort for the rest of your life! So today, we want to share a complete roadmap to recover from arthritis for our communities in Connecticut.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
Rehabilitation requires your active participation and effort. If you are only up to easy and feel-good stuff such as manual therapy and pain modulation tools, we cannot guarantee you a successful outcome. We do utilize those methods, but the real game changer for you would be guided exercises and healthy habits. Let us prepare the meal for you, all we ask from you is to show up and enjoy the meal!
Tell us about your symptoms
We want to know all about your symptoms and discomfort. The more, the better! This is the key step to providing the rehabilitation plan specifically designed for you. We take pride in individualizing the plan for your specific needs. We will ask questions about your medical history, daily medication use, physical activities you do every day, occupational needs, and so on. Here are more examples:
- What makes the symptoms worse, and what makes it better?
- What treatment options have helped you the most?
- What are your concerns regarding your symptoms?
- What are your goals moving forward?
After we hear all about your history, we will run a physical examination to see. There is a lot of information and measurement we take from here. We will take a look at your posture and assignment, see how flexible your joints are, and measure the strength of your muscle, and the integrity of the soft tissues around the joint. This is to check any other underlying conditions that contributed to arthritis and record the baseline of your condition so that we can keep track of your progress moving forward.
Planning for your personal Arthritis Rehabilitation plan
What goes into a rehabilitation plan?
All the information you give the therapist, along with the results of the manual exam, will be used to create a rehab program, just for you. Your therapist will put together a treatment plan that describes the goals you want to achieve and how to get there. In other words, the plan lists the exercises and treatments as well as an estimate of how many visits you will need over what period of time.
What are the examples of the treatment?
At Advanced Physical Therapy, we provide recommendations based on your specific symptoms and needs and may include one or more of the following treatment choices. Treatment may include a variety of therapeutic procedures such as:
- Manual therapy
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Ice and heat
- Electric Stimulation
- Recovery devices
- Dry Needling
Is it safe to do exercises for my arthritis?
Yes, exercise is an excellent option if you have arthritis. In fact, if you want to improve your joint mobility and strength, exercise is critical. If you avoid exercise, your symptoms will get worse. However, we do understand that it might cause pain and you might not know what exercises are safe for you. This is why we prescribe a personalized exercise plan for you based on the history we took previously. At Advanced Physical Therapy, we check in with you at the beginning of each session to see how you are feeling and how to modify and progress the plan for the day.
What kinds of exercises are helpful for arthritis?
- Mobility routines
- Pool exercises
Stretching is a gentle form of exercise that helps you feel less tight and rigid. During the first few sessions, our physical therapist will teach you simple and easy stretches that you can do. We recommend you remember these stretches so that you can build a habit of doing them every day.
Mobility routines are similar to stretches, but it involves more active movement from you. Think of it as active stretches. For example, instead of using a strap to stretch your hamstrings, we might have you do an exercise called ‘hamstring scoops’, which is a more active way to stretch your hamstring.
The real game changer to treat arthritic joints is strengthening exercises. As physical therapists, we are experts at finding the balance between ‘too much’ and ‘too little’. We will prescribe the right exercise with the right load so that you won’t be too sore the day after but also can make the muscles stronger. Strong muscles will help the joint absorb the shock during daily activities. For example, if you strengthen the muscles around your hip and knee, going down the stairs will be much easier. Less impact to the joint, then less pain.
Various pool exercises can be a great option as well. You weigh less in the water, and thus move easily with less discomfort in your joint. Check out community health centers around you and see if they offer swim classes or activities like water Zumba! Our Bristol office is located inside Healthrax and has access to the pool and we use it frequently with our patients.
You are in charge of your health. We are here to guide you.
Patience is the key.
As with many things in life, arthritis rehab takes time to get the result. Based on the severity of your symptoms, it might take a couple of months to see the real progress. However, don’t be discouraged. Our experienced physical therapists will be there to guide you. We will take any questions you might have, adjust the plan as needed, and listen to your concerns.
Tell us how you are actually doing.
We understand that arthritis patients not only have physical discomfort but also emotional distress. You are tired of taking pain medications, canceling weekend plans because of pain, and not being able to work on your garden or garage projects. That is the reason why, here at Advanced Physical Therapy, we prioritize connecting with patients over simply treating the symptoms. We hear you and we will help you through the process!
Turn your home exercise program into your habit.
Every patient at Advanced Physical Therapy receives a carefully designed home exercise program with pictures and step-by-step guides. It is important that you do these exercises at home as prescribed by the physical therapists. This is for you to build a habit of taking care of yourself and preventing further injuries. We want you to be independent so that you can take full control of your life. Don’t worry, we will continue to be a go-to resource for you.
I have osteoarthritis in my hip which had caused much pain especially when moving my hip around tying to sleep. I was unable to sleep and was limping. My doctor recommended PT but honestly I was highly doubtful in PT making any difference. Boy, was I wrong! Yes, I will always have stiffness and pain now and then, but nowhere near as much as I used to. The exercises and stretches does wonders! Thakn you!Jacqueline / Patient from Advanced Physical Therapy in Terryville
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