While many people associate joint pain with the elderly, it can affect people of all ages. There are many different things that can cause joint pain, some of which are more likely to affect senior citizens and some that are more common in young adults, teens, or even children.
Possible Causes of Joint Pain
Joint pain can result from acute injuries, such as sprains or bone fractures. Anyone of any age can experience these types of injuries, and the pain is often severe enough to send a patient to the emergency room for initial treatment. The best physical therapists in Cary, North Carolina, often assist with recovery from these injuries.
Tendinitis is a musculoskeletal injury that occurs over time with repetitive stress on a joint. Pain can range in severity but tends to be more of a dull ache than a sharp stab. Tendinitis can affect people of any age, and physical therapy may be effective at treating it.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defense system attacks its own tissues. This can cause joint pain and, if left untreated, eventual deformity. There is a distinction made between juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and adult-onset RA.
Osteoarthritis is a joint inflammation that occurs due to the wearing down of cartilage over time. Because it is degenerative in nature, it almost exclusively affects older adults.
Common PT Treatments For Joint Pain
The appropriate treatment for joint pain depends on what is causing it. The first step is often relieving the pain, then you can progress to the prevention of joint pain in the future.
A physical therapist may use pain relief modalities to ease the discomfort in your joints, such as the following:
- Manual manipulation or massage therapy
- Electrical nerve stimulation
- Heat or cold therapy
Once these modalities have relieved your pain, your therapist may start you on strengthening exercises. Muscle weakness can cause your joints to become unstable, putting you at risk for further injuries and pain. Chronic joint pain can decrease the range of motion, so your physical therapist may also include exercises to increase flexibility in your treatment plan.
What To Look for in Great Physical Therapist
You may be saying to yourself, “I want to look for physical therapy near me, but how do I find a therapist who can help me?” It is important to find a therapist who has experience treating your particular problem, which can be a challenge if you have an uncommon condition.
It is also important to find a physical therapist whom you feel comfortable with. A good physical therapist has the ability to communicate instructions clearly to you so you can understand. This becomes more important as your treatment progresses and your therapist asks you to start doing exercises at home. Doing them incorrectly could result in further injury or pain.
Then there are issues of logistics and convenience. For example, are you willing to drive out of your way to a therapist with specialist knowledge of your condition, or is it more important that your therapist be near your location? Will your insurance cover treatment from your chosen physical therapist? Look for a therapist who can adapt to your needs.