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A Special Report Courtesy of the Stenosis and Arthritis Specialists at Total Balance Physical Therapy

Secret #1 – What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis literally means, “joint inflammation”. A joint is the location where 2 bones come together. Inflammation is the body’s response to tissue damage.

Secret #2 – Can My Arthritis Travel from One Joint to Another Part of My Body?

There are two common forms of arthritis. The first is osteoarthritis and is typically referred to as “OA”. When most people talk about having arthritis in their knee, back or neck, they are talking about this type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs in one joint.

The second common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. The primary difference is that rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body…all joints at the same time.

To answer the question, arthritis cannot travel from joint to joint…but one joint can be inflamed one day and another the next…the arthritis is still there though in both joints.

Secret #3 – Does What I Eat Affect My Arthritis?

3 well written books on this topic say essentially the same message: “We are what we eat.” Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, recommend diets high in nutrients (think green leafy vegetables). All are available on Amazon or in bookstores.

Secret #4 – If I Do More Exercise, Won’t That Wear Away My Cartilage?

Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming or biking, improves joint health. Think, “Use it or lose it”. Most doctors recommend at least 30 minutes/day of light to moderately intense exercise 6 days per week. Finding an exercise you enjoy and look forward to is the key to keeping your joints young and limber.

A big fear of arthritis sufferers tends to be getting to the point where they have “bone on bone” and may need a surgery. As we age, it is true the space between our joints decreases. (This is one of the reasons we tend to be shorter at 80 years than 25 years). Doing nothing speeds up this process. Exercise helps to maintain this space and improves joint health.

Secret #5 – What Is the Biggest Mistake Most People Make About Their Arthritis?

“It’s just old age” or “Everyone has arthritis” usually are socially accepted excuses for not doing anything about arthritis pain. And “doing nothing” is about the biggest possible mistake a person can make for arthritis pain.

Secret #6 – So What Can I Do About My Arthritis Pain?

You have 3 choices of how you can handle your arthritis pain:

Ignore it. (usually by making excuses)Try to change it. Handle the cause of the arthritis.

#7 With So Many Treatment Options, How Do I Know Which One I Should Do?

Here is a simple, effective tool to help you make the healthiest decisions for your body:

Movement. Hands-on Physical TherapyMedication.Injections.Surgery.

Here’s an example of how you use the tool.

In this example, “Dan” is a male in his sixties who suffers with lower back arthritis. He has back and leg pain when he walks for more than 5 or 10 minutes. The pain goes away when he sits down.

So, the first thing Dan does to handle the cause of his arthritis is #1 Movement. This is exercise. He knows a good therapist at Total Balance Physical Therapy and consults the therapist for an exercise program to do to help his lower back arthritis. The therapist prescribes exercises for Dan to do…

Now one of two things can happen. First, the exercises could do the trick. When this is the case, Dan is done exploring treatment options because he has successfully handled the cause of his lower back pain and arthritis and can walk again without pain. OR…

The exercises may not change anything for Dan at all…

When this is the case, the next thing Dan should do is #2 Hands-on PT. What’s Hands-on PT? Hands-on PT is relying on outside forces to change the body and get it to move better. So, after a thorough exam, Dan’s therapist does some of the latest hands-on therapy techniques and sets Dan up on a Traction treatment program for lower back arthritis.

Again, one of two things will happen. The traction and hands-on therapy will do the trick OR Dan may need a medication to take the edge off of the pain and help him get moving again…

And so on down the line…of treatment options. Luckily, most people can handle the cause of their pain and arthritis with the first several steps.

Need More Answers for Your Arthritis?

Call Total Balance Physical Therapy and Fitness at 701-293-6037

August 23, 2020

Thank you for the concise and interesting article. I saw you mentioned exercises for lower back OA. Is there something similar you do for neck soreness and OA? And have you ever considered adding a swimming / exercise pool for those that water movement seems to help? Just wondering.

August 25, 2020

Great questions, Jean! Someone from our team will be in contact with you shortly if they haven’t already. Thanks!

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