ArthritisArthritis Treatment in Wasilla, Alaska
Northern Edge Physical Therapy is the right choice for your treatment. We are the only physical therapy practice in the state of Alaska that offers clients excellence in physical therapy with specialized programs such as; Dry Needling, Redcord, AlterG Anti-gravity Treadmill, Low-level Laser Therapy, and Massage Therapy.
Just because it’s common, doesn’t mean you have to suffer from arthritis. Yes, age does play a role in the onset of arthritis. But why is it that some joints develop arthritis and others remain healthy? It has to do with the joint structures (capsule and ligaments) which constrain or limit joint space and the muscles which control joint movement. Joint space can be narrowed due to injury and advancing age. Muscle function can be impaired due to minor tears or excessive strain causing adverse stress to the joint. The most common indication for joint surgery is pain and limits in weight-bearing joints (i.e. hip, knee and shoulder).
In advanced stages of arthritis, surgery may be the only reasonable option to reduce pain and restore function. However, the process of joint space narrowing and impaired muscle function occurs over months and years. There is a strong body of scientific evidence that indicates surgery can be avoided if the joint problems are treated specifically to restore joint stability and movement.
The challenge with arthritis is pinpointing which structures are injured and determining the most promising treatments. Lack of specific diagnosis and treatment may be the reason some arthritis problems require surgery. Northern Edge Physical Therapy understands the challenges faced by those suffering from arthritis. Our examination is designed to be specific allowing us to identify structures which are cause joint space narrowing and delay healing. Our treatment is directed towards the arthritic pain and joint limits. We offer specialized programs to achieve pain-relief and enhance performance.
Why do I HURT?
- Here is what happens: Joint pain and limits usually occurs when there’s an injury that causes direct damage to tissue, such as a cartilage tear or ligament sprain. Often, this injury occurs at a young age and it sets the stage for joint degeneration (wear and tear of joint cartilage and ligaments). Over time, the joint structures become unhealthy due to abnormal or excessive stress leading to further degeneration. This degenerative process can be altered by the type of movement, posture and presence of inflammation.
- Until you get better: Movement is the fuel of all life and promotes healing. Some movement is better than none especially in the case of arthritis. However, movement must be guided to prevent abnormal joint stress. Healing of joint tissue requires specific mobilization and exercise to restore joint health.
- Repeat injury: Inflammation prevents nutrients from reaching injured tissues. Some inflammation is natural during the healing process but it can become excessive and persistent due to inactivity, stress, repeated trauma and lack of treatment. Other weakened or deconditioned areas not affected by the original injury can become painful and limited due to persistent inflammation and lack of movement.
- Trigger pain reflex: Pain triggers a reflexive change in movement patterns. Movement becomes unnatural and leads to imbalanced posture, uncontrolled motion and excessive guarding. Pain can easily become a training aide that reshapes movement patterns and alters muscle activation in efforts to protect and shield tissues/joints from further injury. However, just like inflammation this pain driven reflex can become excessive and persistent.