Surgery is rarely the first course of action for conditions that cause joint pain.
At Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates in Castro Valley, California, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons take a conservative and comprehensive approach to care.
Before recommending knee or shoulder surgery, we may start with treatments like physical therapy. We’re proud to have board-certified physical therapist Creed Larrucea DPT, ECS, as a member of our care team.
Here, Dr. Larrucea shares with you some of the benefits of physical therapy for joint pain.
When you have joint pain, you may think rest is best, but it’s not. The best thing you can do to reduce your joint discomfort is to keep moving. Physical therapy teaches you how to remain mobile while reducing stress on your joint, decreasing pain.
Improves mobility and flexibility
Joint stiffness may worsen your pain. We help you move and stretch your joint, slowly increasing range of motion. This improves the movement and flexibility of your painful joint, which also helps ease your discomfort.
Strengthens supportive muscles
Additionally, we teach you how to do exercises at home that strengthen the muscles that support the joint. Improving supportive muscle strength reduces joint stress and the resulting achiness.
Delays the need for surgery
One of the biggest benefits of physical therapy is that it delays, or prevents, the need for joint surgery. Though there are cases where surgery is a better option, like an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, physical therapy may allow you to postpone a procedure until you’re ready.
Or prevent it altogether. For example, if you have a mild ACL tear and lead a fairly sedentary life, you don’t necessarily need surgery to reconstruct the ligament. We can provide you with the exercises and tools necessary to support knee health.
If you have joint pain from any type of injury like a sports injury, you need physical therapy to help you recover. Movement reduces pain, improves mobility, and increases circulation to the damaged tissue to help you get back to your active lifestyle.
You also need physical therapy to help you recover from surgery, like joint replacement.
Promotes better body mechanics
Joint pain throws your whole body off, especially if it involves one of your weight-bearing joints like your knees, hips, or back. Poor body mechanics may worsen your joint pain or put too much stress on other joints, causing more problems.
By improving your body’s mobility, flexibility, and strength, physical therapy helps you move your body better, improving overall health and reducing risk of complications.
Prevents other injuries
Another benefit of physical therapy for joint pain is that it might prevent other injuries. Our sports medicine experts encourage athletes to take full advantage of physical therapy to support healing, improve athletic performance, and reduce their risk of other injuries.
From pain to flexibility, physical therapy provides long-lasting benefits for joint pain. If joint pain is keeping you from doing the things you love, let us help. Contact our office in Castro Valley, California, today to schedule an appointment.