We know it’s important to stay active, but when it hurts to move that’s when Lee Health physical therapist, Kath Kinross, says it’s time to improve how you move. “There are actually a surprising number of things you can do for an inflamed arthritic joint other than having surgery.”
She says improving things like posture and body mechanics can help relieve arthritis pain. “Working on posture, the way that we sit, the way that we stand, even the way that we sleep, can make a big difference to how those joints are able to recover.”
If the joint is inflamed, patients can also try ice or use a cane for a few weeks to help take the weight off that joint. If the joint is weight bearing, losing weight can also help alleviate pain. “There’s an actual correlation between obesity and arthritis, including joints that do not bear weight. So our diet and being overweight definitely influences arthritis,” said Kinross.
Foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and foods that are high in antioxidants can help with inflammation. But if the pain causes a loss of motion it’s time to see a physical therapist. “If you are beginning to lose motion because it hurts, what happens is the joint is not getting the fluid distributed over the cartilage it needs. When that happens that bit of cartilage, especially the bit at the edges that haven't been getting the fluid will start to degenerate faster,” said Kinross.
Physical therapy can teach patients which exercises can help to regain strength and mobility, which can improve how they feel physically and mentally.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.