Treating Arthritis Pain Without The Meds

Treating Arthritis Pain Without The Meds

by | Dec 19, 2018 | Health and Wellness

It’s always the same story:

Man experiences joint pain. Man considers his age and reminisces on his high school and college sports career, detailing the injury history of the painful joint. Man diagnoses himself with arthritis, an ailment he will now have to suffer with for the rest of his life, especially during odd weather events.

First, man tries generic pain pills. Next, he tries arthritis-specific over-the-counter medication. Perhaps man’s wife will convince him to rub some sort of arthritis cream or gel on the painful joint.

Eventually, man might end up at the doctor’s office following an expensive scan that has indeed identified “age-related changes” that can only mean the arthritis is here for good. Further prescription medication is offered and the line, “Not today, I’ve got a bad [insert painful joint here]” is readied for daily use.

 

Does this sound like you or someone you know?

Arthritis is a catch-all term used to describe more than 100 different kinds of joint pain and joint disease. While arthritis is commonly believed to be a condition that afflicts the elderly, the reality is that it can strike people in early middle age. In fact, elite male athletes are more likely to develop arthritis than the general public.

Arthritis medications and pain medicines can cause some nasty side effects (including stomach ulcers, cataracts, and bone loss), but they are the first-line go-to treatment for masking this life sentence of a disease.

But wait! What if arthritis doesn’t have to be a life sentence? What if pretty much everyone your age has “age-related changes” on their scans but some experience pain and some don’t? What if you could become one of those people who doesn’t have to deal with daily pain medication?

Well, you can and you will (if you take the right steps). So, if you’re looking for a natural treatment for arthritis, make time to meet with a Body Gears PT to learn how you can kick the meds and change your story.

 

Arthritis, Why Me?

Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It is caused by a reduction in joint cartilage as it wears away through “wear and tear” that is caused by repeated exposure to ABNORMAL forces (repeated injuries, excess body weight, inefficient movement mechanics, etc.). Where the cartilage wears down, the bones begin to rub together which leads to pain and swelling. Physical therapy can often help to reduce or even eliminate arthritis pain without medication by addressing the variety of factors that contribute to inefficient movement mechanics and abnormal joint forces. Physical therapy can often help to reduce or even eliminate arthritis pain without medication by addressing the variety of factors that contribute to inefficient movement mechanics.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: In certain cases, the body’s immune system will attack joint tissues with intense inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis often has a genetic cause and doctors usually treat it aggressively with specialized drugs. The role of physical therapy, in this case, is to ensure physical function is properly restored as the drugs begin to take effect.

Metabolic Arthritis: The most common type of metabolic arthritis is gout, a condition caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the extremities, especially the feet. It’s typically caused by a decline in kidney function. Physical therapists work with doctors to help gout patients restore range of motion in the affected area and even reduce the buildup of the acidic crystals that accumulate in the joints.

 

The Med-Free Way

When you commence natural treatment for arthritis with a physical therapist, you’ll start by creating an individualized care plan. This could include increasing or preserving your joints’ range of motion, increasing your global strength to reduce stress on the painful joint, re-sequencing your movement mechanics, and other natural treatment options.

Most importantly, we’ll make sure you get back to the activities you love doing (sports, exercise, family time, travel…) pain-free.

If you’re still looking for more information about arthritis, check out the arthritis issue of our monthly newsletter.

As always, consult with your Licensed Physical Therapist for individualized advice. For those in Illinois, visit your PT immediately without a prescription or referral.

Give us a call at (877) 709-1090 for more information or fill out the contact us form and we will contact you.

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