Don’t Let Pain and Stiff Joints Limit You.


  •     CAUSES
  •     WHO IS AT RISK


Arthritis is among the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States. Arthritis isn’t just one disease; it’s a complex disorder that comprises more than 100 distinct conditions and can affect people at any stage of life. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, and limited movement. There are many forms of arthritis, each of which has a different cause. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune diseases in which the body is attacking itself. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection. Gouty arthritis is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint that results in subsequent inflammation.

The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease and occurs following trauma to the joint, following an infection of the joint or simply as a result of aging. There is emerging evidence that abnormal anatomy may contribute to early development of osteoarthritis.


Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

You may have joint inflammation for a variety of reasons, including:
Broken bone Infection (usually caused by bacteria or viruses). An autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself because the immune system believes a body part is foreign). General “wear and tear” on joints.


Arthritis can affect anyone, any age; however there are several factors that put you at a higher risk to developing arthritis. These factors for osteoarthritis the most common type of arthritis include:

Family history
Being overweight
An infection in the joint
Injuring a joint, fractures, broken bones
Repeated trauma/injury to an existing injured joint
Using the affected joint in a repetitive action that puts stress on the joint (baseball players, ballet dancers, and construction workers are all at risk)


Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical and occupational therapy, and medications (symptomatic or targeted at the disease process causing the arthritis). Arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery) may be required in eroding forms of arthritis. Prescription Drugs and some OTC medications while they help to relieve the immediate symptoms of pain swelling have the risk of serious side effects.

Use of NSSIDs can cause symptoms such as rapid or irregular pulse, hives on the face or mouth, wheezing or tightness in the chest may indicate an allergy to the drug.

DMARDs are used to control arthritis by suppressing the immune system. But this can also make it more difficult to fight infection.

And though corticosteroids are potent fighters of inflammation, they also have many potentially dangerous adverse effects, including the development of diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts and neurological problems.


Even moderate activity helps. Among adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA), engaging in moderate physical activity just three times a week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47 percent!

People with arthritis often have stiff joints – largely because they avoid movements that can increase pain. By mobilizing arthritic joints, however, the stiffness and pain only get worse. Therefore, people with arthritis often benefit from physical therapy. A physical therapist can teach you how to work out stiffness without further damaging your joint. Physical therapy also is useful after an injury, such as from a fall, and after joint surgery, especially for artificial joint replacement.

Occupational therapy can teach you how to reduce strain on your joints during daily activities. Occupational therapists can show you how to modify your home and workplace environments to reduce motions that may aggravate arthritis. They also may provide splints for your hands or wrists, and recommend assistive devices to aid in tasks such as driving, bathing, dressing, housekeeping and certain work activities.

What Is the Goal of Physical Therapy?

The goal of physical therapy is to get a person back to the point where he or she can perform normal, everyday activities without difficulty.

Preserving good range of motion is key to maintain the ability to perform daily activities. Therefore, increasing the range of motion of a joint is the primary focus of physical therapy. Building strength in the involved muscles surrounding the joint also is extremely important, since stronger muscles can better stabilize a weakened joint.

Physical therapists provide exercises designed to preserve the strength and use of your joints. They can show you the best way to move from one position to another and can also teach you how to use walking aids such as crutches, a walker or a cane, if necessary.


“ The overall atmosphere was very welcoming and comfortable while remaining professional. My compliments on maintaining that balance.”                                                                                                     Melba Warner

“I found Clara and her entire staff to be sensitive and caring. A woman asked me why I come so far…We live an hour away form Physiocare…however, I wanted the best!… and that is why I make the trip.”                                                                                                    Howard Balsam

“…And also I highly recommend therapy referrals with Physiocare and especially with Clara Rodriguez. She is wonderful and so caring of how you feel.  She takes that extra measure to assure your comfort. I’m one to pass on compliments when due and these are two that I’m very sincere about.”                                                                                                          Evelyn Bates


“Physiocare does excellent hands on physical therapy and I recommend them without reservation.”
Irvine Mason M.D., Diplomat – American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology

“Physiocare rehabilitation has made a big difference in the lives of my patients. Their staff is professional , warm and always helpful in caring for their patients. I have never had a patient who was not completely satisfied with the rehabilitation at Physiocare.”
Michael D. Milstein,D.O.F.A.A.F.P., Internist

“My patients find that Physiocare provides prompt and successful relief to their pains and stiffness. I send most of my patients to Physiocare. I have found Physiocare to be the best physical therapy center in town.”
Daniel I. Nuchovich,M.D.

“ Since referring my patients to Physiocare I have found that for the first time my patients actually want to return to their clinic for therapy treatment. Never before have I seen so many of my patients complimenting a rehabilitation clinic. The Physiocare team truly performs the best therapy and they continually exceed my expectations.”
Irma V. Lopez,M.D., Internist

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References:   Sources come from one or more of the following articles and sites: / / / / /Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. /American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery