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Cheyenne, WY Physical Therapy Care Tips for Osteoarthritis


December 12, 2018

Did you know that more than 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis? While primarily found in senior citizens, the condition can also affect people as young as their 20s. Identifying top osteoarthritis symptoms is key, which is something local Cheyenne, WY physical therapy can help with. Learn more about this disease, how it is diagnosed, and incorporating premier physical therapy to manage pain. 

What is Osteoarthritis? 


Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of joint disease, mainly from wear and tear over the years. Often known as a degenerative disease, it leads to pain in joints in the hands, feet, hips, back and other joint areas. Once the cartilage that makes it easy to move begins to wear, it becomes painful. As time goes on, pieces of the bone or cartilage can break off, causing an inflammatory reaction. Because it is mainly due to use over the years, it is most common in those that are 65-years-old or older. It is most common in the hands but can form in a variety of the areas mentioned above. Common risk factors include: 
  • Genetics
  • Overuse
  • Age
  • Women
  • Overweight
  • Injuries

Signs and Symptoms


Those with osteoarthritis experience an aching of the joints that worsens when moved. On the flipside, when stationary, it can make the joints painful when moving again. Also, inflammation within the joints and cartilage may lead to visible swelling. Because of this pain, osteoarthritis can lead to stiffness, creating what seems like an endless cycle. As cartilage loss occurs, there may be an audible grinding during the movement of joints. Sufferers may also notice bone spurs, which are pieces of bone that have broken off. 

Diagnosing and Treatment


Upon noticing pain within joints, see a medical professional. They can take in your information on symptoms and identify the location of pain to do a routine exam and take X-rays. The X-ray and potential other tests such as an MRI or blood test will help the professional identify if there is damage. From there, the doctor will provide tips for treatment accordingly. This may include prescribing medication, go-to tips for losing weight, compresses, removing excess fluid, and in extreme cases, surgery. Physical therapy is also a great way to manage symptoms. 

Incorporating Quality Physical Therapy


It is best to continue moving when coping with osteoarthritis symptoms. While it may not seem like it, continuing to move can help build strength and inflammation. Your local physical therapist will identify a plan specific to your situation for relief and improvement. If your doctor has recommended surgery, learn about the benefits of exercise pre and post surgery with a physical therapist. 

As you look for ways to manage your osteoarthritis, North Platte Physical Therapy is your go-to practice. Our staff of experienced therapists are knowledgeable in osteoarthritic treatment that will provide you relief. You will learn ways to feel better and improve throughout your journey. To get started, contact us today! We will answer your questions and provide a tailored plan for management and improvement.