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Arthritis is a broad term referring to about 100 different diseases that affect your joints. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Your joints are the meeting places between your bones, which are protected from rubbing against each other by joint lining (hyaline) cartilage. Arthritis is the breakdown of this protection, causing your bones to make contact and rub against each other as you move.

While arthritis can affect any joint, the most commonly affected joints are in knees, hips, fingers, shoulders, and spine.

At SOPT, we know there is no cure for arthritis, but we do know it can be slowed, controlled, and managed with a specialized PT regimen that will help you return to full activity.

Although arthritis is very common, it not well understood.

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling and stiffness in your joints
  • Joints that look red or are warm to the touch
  • Tenderness and pain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks

What are the common causes?

  1. There is no one cause to arthritis but there are many contributing factors such as:
    • Age – as you get older, your joints get worn down
    • Joint injuries – damage to your joints can speed up the wear and tear
    • Obesity – excess weight puts added pressure on your joints
    • Heredity – certain forms of arthritis are linked to your genetic code
    • Gender – men and women are more prone to different types of arthritis
    • Daily activity – certain jobs and hobbies require more wear and tear on your joints
  2. Different forms of arthritis have different triggers. Osteoarthritis is often triggered by age or joint injury. Rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by genetics, but sometimes also by environmental factors like smoking.
  3. Regardless of which arthritis you have, it is important to get a full clinical evaluation as early as possible. Your PT can assess which muscles, tendons, ligaments, and movement patterns are causing the uneven wear on your joints. Once that is determined, your PT will develop a specialized PT regimen to address those areas and help you return to your previous activity levels.

How Do I Know it’s Time for Specialized Orthopedic Physical Therapy?

  • You have been suffering from chronic pain for some time now. You may have even seen other physical therapists in the past but the pain never left or has returned.
  • You only want treatment with a licensed PT, not a string of PT Assistants.
  • You want hands-on treatment from the same PT every visit so he or she can treat you more personally and more effectively.
  • You want access to the best and most current techniques from a fully licensed PT.
  • Remember, you do NOT need a referral from your PCP to see a PT (unless your insurance dictates otherwise). And you have the right to see any PT you choose for treatment of your pain and injuries. Feel free to call our office and we can help you determine if a PCP referral is needed. (401) 384-6490