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Arthritis: Maintain Your Independence

senior exercises

Arthritis can prevent you from being able to reach in your overhead cabinets, take a walk with a friend or your dog, go up and down stairs, and participate in your favorite physical activities or hobbies such as dance or golf.

You’ve probably been out somewhere and had a friend or family member say that they were stiff, or even heard them predict the weather because of how they were feeling.  It’s pretty common from middle age and on to have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis involves the degeneration of the joints, more specifically the cartilage that lines a jointWhen this smooth material is worn down, the joint no longer will move like it’s supposed to.  This occurs because the bones that are a part of the joint are rubbing together.

Arthritis is a degenerative disease.  If left untreated, it will continue to get worse.

You may experience:

  • Pain during movement of the joint
  • Stiffness after being in one position for too long
  • Tenderness along the joint line
  • Loss of flexibility or movement of the joint
  • Clicking or grinding noise in the joint


All of these symptoms can further prevent you from enjoying the tours you may be accustomed to joining when on vacation, from participating in the family cook-outs and gathering events and could eventually lead to loss of much of your independence and the need for assistance in all or most of your daily activities.

Physical Therapy can help you get relief, regain some of your independence, and lessen your pain.  You will finally be able to enjoy your family vacations and leisure activities again!

Osteoarthritis is something that develops over time, but there are factors that will increase your risk of developing arthritis:

  • Increased age
  • Females > males
  • Obesity
  • Previous injuries to the joint
  • Previous surgeries involving the joint
  • Genetics
  • Occupations that involve repetitive stress

Medications and steroid injections are prescribed when the pain is hindering daily activities, but are usually only temporary and/or assist with tolerating exercises.

Even though arthritis is a progressive disease, you can take control of how it affects you.  Symptoms can be effectively managed through lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, exercise and Physical Therapy. The goal of Physical Therapy is to increase your range of motion of the joints affected and increase the strength of the muscles that surround the joint – to slow down further deterioration.

CALL Loudoun Sports Therapy Center TODAY at 703-450-4300 and CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you. 

By: Devin Wurman, DPT


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