A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine states that elite male athletes are at a higher risk of developing arthritis than the rest of the general public. According to the study, approximately 30% of elite male athletes who engage in contact sports will eventually develop arthritis in the knees and hips. This is because advanced athletes who participate in contact sports experience a quicker “wear and tear” on the joints, due to continuous overexertion.
Common types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This condition develops through a reduction in joint cartilage. This typically occurs gradually, through the natural “wear and tear” of age, but it can also occur from other factors, such as continuous repetitive motions. When cartilage wears down, the bones begin to rub together, causing friction, swelling, and pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, also referred to as inflammatory arthritis, is the second most common type of arthritis. This condition develops as a response from your body’s immune system. When the joints are seen as a “threat,” the immune system will attack the tissues surrounding them, causing intense inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is thought to be linked to genetics, so you may be at a higher risk of developing it if you have a family member with the same condition.
- Metabolic arthritis. Gout is the most common type of metabolic arthritis, typically developed as a result of reduced kidney function. Gout causes a buildup of uric crystals in the joints of the extremities, and it is most common in the feet.
How is arthritis treated?
Many physicians prescribe medication to manage pain caused by arthritis. Your physician may prescribe NSAID pain relievers, antibiotics, corticosteroids, or antirheumatic drugs for your arthritis treatment. However, medication is not always entirely helpful.
It’s no secret that medication is easy – all you have to do is pop a pill in your mouth, chase it with water, and wait for your pain to subside. But it’s also no secret that medication can cause some nasty side effects – and, in some cases, they can become habit-forming. For example, with NSAIDs, you run the risk of blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. With corticosteroids, you run the risk of cataracts, high blood sugar levels, and bone loss. Fortunately, physical therapy is a healthier, safer, and natural way to treat arthritic aches and pains.
If you have been suffering from arthritis and you’re looking for a natural relief, call our office today. We’ll set up a treatment plan for you that’ll kick those harmful drugs to the curb!
Getting help through physical therapy:
When treating arthritic symptoms, the main goals of a physical therapist are to reduce pain, increase strength, and preserve range of motion. Just a few of the many benefits of working with a physical therapist include:
- Stretching/exercise. Stretches and light exercises will help increase your range of motion in the affected area(s).
- Proper posture. Maintaining a proper posture will help to reduce stress on your joints.
- Rest. Your therapist will also recommend a schedule for rest and sleep to complement your exercises. This helps the body to heal and will hopefully reduce your amount of arthritic inflammation and pain.
- Weight control. Your physical therapist will work with you to control your weight through exercise and diet. Controlling your weight helps to prevent added stress on weight-bearing joints.