Recognize the Signs of Osteoarthritis Pain: Top 3 Signs

Osteoarthritis can easily mask itself as other problems; by knowing and recognizing the signs as well as the likelihood that you are a sufferer, the sooner you can seek intervention. Physical therapy has proven to benefit those suffering from osteoarthritis pain.

Osteoarthritis: A Hidden Disease

Running is a way of lifeIt’s often far too easy to become accustomed to pain and to “assume that it’s nothing”. When we do this, we run a higher risk of that “nothing” pain becoming something. Osteoarthritis pain is highly common and has a myriad of symptoms and areas in which it impacts making it difficult to identify.

Type of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can occur in nearly any part of the body including:

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Foot and ankle
  • Hand
  • Spine
  • Shoulder

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease, so anywhere your body is jointed is vulnerable.

Factors Contributing to Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is generally caused by stress to the joints, so anyone with prior joint injury is a potential candidate for the disease. Additionally, anyone who has a family member who has osteoarthritis may be at a greater chance of having issues due to genetics.

Individuals who are obese or overweight or who are of a certain age (post-menopausal women or men who are of the same age as women at that age) are also at an increased likelihood to be vulnerable to osteoarthritis suffering.

Signs of Osteoarthritis

Like many disorders, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can easily be mistaken for other issues; however, if you start to observe the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis and you believe you are a candidate for the disease, get tested; the sooner you can start a therapeutic regimen to mitigate the issues, the better off you will be.

  • Pain and Stiffness: Pain worsens after activity and lessens during times of rest. Pain can also occur at night or during periods of rest; pain is most often detected at the joint.
  • Crackling Joins (Crepitus): Movement of the joint will be accompanied by ‘crackling’ or a grating.
  • Bone Spurs: Bony outgrowths at the joint site will occur and will get larger over the course of time.

Swelling and fluid collection at the joint site are other signs to look out for. Again, if you have signs of osteoarthritis and feel you are a candidate for osteoarthritis, get checked sooner than later. Physical therapy has proven to help patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain; the more quickly patients seek intervention, the longer and more effective the treatment will be.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

Do Bone Spurs Cause Pain?

Bone spurs are often believed to be a source of pain and can be mistreated as a result. By understanding the real source of pain, patients suffering from bone spurs can treat their ailments properly with physical therapy.

bone spur ankle image
credit: diary of a medical scientist

The Underlying Causes of Bone Spurs

People commonly arrive in the office who have neck, shoulder, and feet pain and report that they, “have bone spurs.”  The implication of this complaint is that the bone spurs are the immediate cause of the problem.  The reason many patients believe that bone spurs are the source of their problems is because a physician has taken an X-ray and has advised them as such.

The reality is that this is a misidentification of the problem.  Here are the reasons why:

  • First, press on your bones (elbow, fingers, skull, etc.). Is there pain?  The answer is no because bones do not hurt.
  • Second, a bone spur is a symptom, not a pathology.

What is a Spur?

A spur is an indication of chronic instability.  The laxity of ligaments and the looseness of joints leads to sloppy movement between joints.  The body’s response to this is the development of a new bone known as a spur.

The contributing factors to this condition are poor posture as such contributes to cervical spurs, chronic rotator cuff weakness, which causes shoulder spurs, and chronic big toe stiffness, which causes heel spurs.

The real cause of pain when one has a spur is not the spur itself; rather, it is the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and neural tissues that cause pain.

How Physical Therapy Helps

credit:orthostream.com
credit:orthostream.com

At Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, our physical therapy doctors are trained to examine joints and to determine any areas of instability.  We then use exercise to stabilize the area and soft tissue massage along with other manual techniques to ameliorate and eliminate the pain.

The outcomes have been described as ‘amazing’; no surgery or medications are required, so if you have been diagnosed with a bone spur or believe you have a bone spur, then contact any one of the four Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy clinics for a consultation.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.

 

 

 

Bone on Bone

Most think the only way to treat bone-on-bone pain is via surgery; however, physical therapy can pose a long-term healing alternative that is less invasive and is less painful for those who suffer from bone on bone discomfort.

Physical Therapy as an Alternative to Surgery

  • Have you been told your knee or hip is “bone on bone”?
  • Have you ever been told that you have limited options other than injections or joint replacement, or that a specific malady is the reason for your pain?

Knee XrayIf so, then you should be advised that you absolutely do have other options. Why? Because,the supporting structures surrounding any deteriorating joint are often the culprits in producing the pain and dysfunction associated with osteoarthritis. These supporting structure are the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerve branches. Treatment of these supporting structures often leads to less pain and improved function.

Compared to surgical alternatives, this relief can be achieved relatively quickly by means of physical therapy between 2-4 weeks. Best of all, the overall function of the joint often improves enough that you may be able to put off having a potentially costly and painful joint replacement for years, and sometimes, indefinitely. The treatment alternative offered by physical therapy is relatively painless; it often involves soft tissue massage to the appropriate structures, mobilization of the peripheral nervous system, and exercise to improve strength, flexibility and balance.

Why Isn’t Physical Therapy More Frequently Recommended?

These facts beg the question as to why your physician has not already recommended this treatment for you?  The reality is that 90% of physical therapy practices are corporately owned with a business model that emphasizes productivity over patient care. Thus, their treatment is protocol-based exercise and modalities, such as ice and electrical stimulation.  At orthopedic and sports physical therapy, our business model is patient care-based and outcome-oriented.  Productivity is taken care of by referrals made from happy clients/patients. Our therapists are trained to assess muscle, tendon, ligament, and neural tissue, determine the cause of the dysfunction, and to treat it based on each patient’s individuality.

Hand XrayPatient Testimony

For example, during a recent patient encounter with you, a 75-year-old female arrive at the office with a right knee that was “bone on bone” according to her doctor. His recommendation was surgery or medication; however, her friend told her about our clinic.  During her first visit, she looked at me and said, “You can’t fix my knee; it’s bone on bone.”

I replied, “I can’t change the cartilage deterioration in your knee, but I can see if it is the cause of your problem.”

In four visits, over a 10-day period, she went from walking with a limp, to having no pain in her knee, and she was back to walking two miles a day.

The change was staggering.  My client found she was angry that no one else in the medical field recommended the option of physical therapy to her and that she had to find out from a friend.

Therefore, if you have hip or knee pain, and your only intervention has been X-rays, MRIs, medication, and a recommendation for surgery, give us a call and let us see if we can get you off the meds and back to moving and living a life free of pain.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.