What is Arthritis? How can I treat it?

By Becky Bowman, MSPT
Total Joint and Aquatic Center
Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists, P.C.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America today affecting more than 50 million adults. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis affecting people of all ages, sexes, and races. Common symptoms include joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go; they may be mild, moderate or severe. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to complete daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint damage.These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.The joints become weak and painful primarily due to deterioration of the joint lining leading to bone rubbing bone. Prevention and joint preservation in mild to moderate cases can be very effective, including:

· Strengthening the muscles around the joint for support

· Regular physical activity
· Maintain a healthy weight
· Balance training activities like tai chi or yoga help maintain joint range of motion and flexibility.
· Using hot and cold treatments
· Avoid stressful repetitive activities

When symptoms are severe and lead to loss of mobility and the inability to participate in the life you enjoy a joint replacement may be appropriate. If and when that day comes, our well trained team of therapist at the Total Joint Clinic and Aquatic Center will be there for you.

Use these community resources to help you maintain your active life and participate in the things you enjoy.
· Adult Fitness classes at Total Performance Training Center (517-990-6222)
· Tai chi and gentle yoga classes:
- www.essentialenergies.org/class-schedule
- Jackson Crouch Senior Center (517) 788-4364
- Dr. Lam’s 12-step course is also available as a DVD for home practice
- Learn more about arthritis at www.arthritis.org

· Please feel free to contact our Total Joint & Aquatic Center Physical Therapists:
Becky Bowman MSPT @ beckypt@orsmi.com or 517-990-6231
Jerry Malone PT @ jerrypt@orsmi.com or 517-990-6231