Arthritis Treatment St. Louis. Living with arthritis? Whether you just received your diagnosis or have struggled with symptoms for years, you need a sound treatment plan. Occupational and physical therapy are effective arthritis treatment options for millions of arthritis patients. Learn more about these and other important pieces of an arthritis treatment plan in St. Louis here, or contact Axes Physical Therapy today to discuss how our joint and movement experts can help improve your quality of life.
With fifteen area locations and counting, Axes Physical Therapy is poised to serve the arthritis treatment needs of hundreds of individuals in the Greater St. Louis area and throughout Eastern Missouri. Explore our conveniently located facilities or begin your path to a more mobile and independent life with arthritis by requesting an appointment now.
Arthritis Treatment: A Background on Arthritis
Arthritis describes a physical condition characterized by inflammation of the joints. Approximately 58.5 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis, and nearly half of them — about 25.7 million — experience significant limitations in their daily life due to their condition. That makes arthritis the third leading cause of disability among working-age adults, after neck and back problems and mental health conditions like depression.
Arthritis clearly has a major impact on our society, but when it comes to your own condition, your experience is unique. When you come to Axes Physical Therapy for arthritis treatment near you in the St. Louis area, you are not just a number. Our physical therapists and occupational therapists in the St. Louis area have years of clinical experience providing arthritis treatment to individuals affected by all different types of arthritis suffering from varying degrees of pain and disability. As an arthritis treatment patient at Axes, you will work with your own personal, dedicated arthritis treatment professional who knows how to address your condition and will approach your case using a treatment plan as unique as you are.
Types of Arthritis
According to the CDC, there are more than one hundred conditions that fall under the category of arthritis. The causes and treatment methods differ from one diagnosis to the next, but all arthritis conditions generally include inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Getting the right arthritis treatment in St. Louis for you depends in part on getting an accurate diagnosis and understanding your condition.
Of the many diseases that fall under the category of arthritis, some are more common than others. Below, we discuss the two most common forms of arthritis. By understanding the unique causes, mechanics, and prognoses of each type of arthritis, our St. Louis physical therapists and occupational therapists are able to provide successful treatment for many patients with various forms of arthritis in the Greater St. Louis area.
Osteoarthritis: a degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 27 million people in the US. While it affects people in different ways, common symptoms include joint stiffness, pain, and swelling. Your osteoarthritis can affect any part of the joint, as tissue in the cartilage, tendons, and/or bones breakdown over time.
Peer-reviewed sources put physical therapy at the top of the list of recommended treatments for osteoarthritis. Physical therapy, targeted joint exercises, lifestyle modifications, and education are important for any osteoarthritis treatment plan.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: an autoimmune inflammatory disease. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints, damaging the bone and ligaments in the joints over time. Rheumatoid arthritis affects joints symmetrically, such as in both knees or both wrists. Patients may experience other symptoms outside of joint pain and stiffness, such as fevers and fatigue.
The American College of Rheumatology recommends the treat-to-target approach for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Following the treat-to-target method, your treatment team works toward a specific goal: either reaching remission or lowering disease activity. With your goal in mind, your arthritis treatment team will design a plan and measure indicators of your disease over time.
Arthritis Treatment Methods
There is no correct emotional reaction to receiving a diagnosis like arthritis. It can certainly be painful and difficult to learn that you may be living with permanent joint damage. The progression of your disease depends, in part, on what you do after you’ve been diagnosed. Do not put off getting treatment for your arthritis.
There are many different diseases that fall under the category of arthritis, and many different causes. Whether your arthritis is due to degeneration, an autoimmune response, or a specific infection, the key after diagnosis is to act quickly and focus on moving forward with the best possible arthritis treatment for your condition and needs. With a strong arthritis treatment plan and sufficient early education, you can have a positive impact on your arthritis — minimizing permanent damage, preserving your mobility, and reducing pain.
The right arthritis treatment method for you will depend on many factors, including the type of arthritis you have and what other health problems you face. Often, an arthritis treatment plan consists of a combination of any of the following:
- Medication. Your doctor might prescribe or recommend the use of NSAIDs, counterirritant creams and ointments, steroids, or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These medications vary in the amount of risk involved and the potential for side effects. Some are largely only effective in alleviating the symptoms of your arthritis, though steroid injections and DMARDs can actually slow the progression of arthritic joint degradation.
- Physical or Occupational Therapy. Research shows that moderate, low-impact activity benefits the joints and helps manage arthritis. Your physical therapy arthritis treatment will be a comprehensive plan made up of several modalities and hands-on care techniques in addition to education, home exercises, lifestyle modifications, and assistive devices. Physical therapy is a non-invasive, customized approach with little associated risk for most patients.
- Surgery. Surgery as a treatment for arthritis is typically reserved for arthritis patients whose conditions have been unresponsive to other more conservative arthritis treatment methods. Your arthritis treatment team of medical professionals has a responsibility to help you understand all of the benefits and potential complications of undergoing surgery. Surgical procedures for arthritis include synovectomy, joint repair, joint replacement, and joint fusion. Your arthritis treatment plan will likely include physical therapy for post- and pre-operative treatment.
Physical Therapy Arthritis Treatment in St. Louis
Physical therapy is a non-invasive healthcare discipline concerned with movement health. As physical therapists, we improve the quality of life of our patients by employing a combination of safe and proven treatment methods tailored to each patient. Our physical therapists work with patients of all ages, genders, fitness levels, socioeconomic backgrounds, and conditions, including different types of arthritis.
At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, you will work with a joint expert who has clinical experience treating arthritis. Your dedicated physical therapist will develop an individualized arthritis treatment plan that meets your specific needs. We will work with you one-on-one and communicate with the other medical providers on your arthritis treatment team to select the appropriate physical therapy treatment modalities, supplemental exercises and education, and modifications to your home and lifestyle to help you remain independent and free from pain.
In addition to the hands-on care and various modalities your physical therapist may use to treat your arthritis symptoms or slow the progression of the disease, patient education is another critical piece of the arthritis treatment puzzle. As experts in movement health and the musculoskeletal system, your physical therapist for arthritis treatment will work with you to help you:
- Master proper posture and gait
- Find the right assistive devices such as shoe inserts and braces.
- Make adjustments around the house to make your daily activities easier
- Find the right diet
What are the benefits of physical therapy arthritis treatment?
Ultimately, physical therapy as a treatment for arthritis aims to eliminate symptoms and/or stunt the progression of the disease. Because of physical therapists’ approach based in movement science and an in-depth knowledge of the human musculoskeletal system, physical therapy patients are able to enjoy a wide range of advantages. When you turn to Axes Physical Therapy for your St. Louis arthritis treatment, you may experience the following benefits:
- Increased range of motion
- Reduced stiffness
- Preserved bone strength
- Increased joint support
- Improved fitness
- Weight loss
- Superior balance and posture
- Other benefits such as more energy, better mental health, and better sleep
Physical therapy as an arthritis treatment can make life with arthritis easier by treating your symptoms and preserving your ability to perform daily tasks. Start managing your arthritis and improving your overall movement health and quality of life with the gentle, personalized, evidence-backed care you get when you come to Axes Physical Therapy for your St. Louis arthritis treatment needs.
What things can I do at home to support my arthritis treatment plan?
The success of your arthritis treatment is dependent upon your active participation, including following through on exercises and any lifestyle modifications your arthritis treatment team prescribes. It is important that you trust your arthritis treatment team and follow their advice. Some good practices you can implement in your life to support your arthritis treatment plan are:
- Stay active
- Eat a balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid stress
- Practice good posture
- Get good rest
- Make modifications to your home environment
- Apply heat
- Quit smoking
One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are suffering from a form of arthritis is to stay active. Physical therapy helps you optimize your efforts by prescribing the best home exercises and teaching you the proper technique to protect your joints. If you historically live an inactive lifestyle, remember to start slow and be patient. Protect your joints from undue stress by performing only low-impact exercises. Consult with your physical or occupational therapist to make sure you have the techniques and exercises that are safe and effective for arthritis treatment.
Begin Arthritis Treatment in St. Louis
Get quality arthritis treatment from the leading physical and occupational therapists of the Greater St. Louis area at Axes Physical Therapy. As a part of your arthritis treatment team, you will work closely with a dedicated physical therapist who specializes in movement and joint health and has clinical experience treating diseases like yours. Our network of local, practitioner-owned physical therapy clinics is here to provide you with personalized, one-on-one care for your arthritis. Visit the location nearest you today or contact us now to speak to a doctor about your arthritis treatment needs or to schedule your first appointment. When it comes to treating your arthritis, there is no time to waste. Contact Axes Physical Therapy today.