Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment in Visalia

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment in Visalia

If you need rheumatoid arthritis treatment in Visalia or Hanford, we can help.  This post describes how our physical therapy expert clinicians assist patients with their rheumatoid arthritis care in Hanford and Visalia.

Physical Therapy Should Be An Integral Component
Of Any Treatment Plan For Rheumatoid Arthritis

The ends of most bones are covered by a smooth, shiny surface called articular cartilage. The cartilage protects bones where they meet one another—at a joint—and provides a smooth surface that allows the bones to slide freely and not contact one another during movement.

Arthritis is general term that’s used to describe the loss of articular cartilage in one or more joints. About one in four Americans—which equates to nearly 59 million people—currently has arthritis, making it one of the most common medical conditions in the U.S. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are by far the most common of these.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it’s caused by the body’s own immune system mistakenly destroying healthy cartilage in joints. It occurs for reasons that are not completely understood, but a combination of genetics and hormonal or environmental factors likely play a role in its development. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint of the body, but usually starts in the small joints of the hand. Women are about three times more likely than men to get rheumatoid arthritis, and it usually occurs in middle age—with an average age of onset of 30-60 years—but it’s also seen in younger individuals.

Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to a variety of symptoms, with some of the most common including:

  • Stiffness, swelling, and/or redness in joints, which is usually worse in the morning
  • Weakness and/or loss of range of motion
  • A sensation of “cracking” or “crushing” in the hand joints
  • Increased size or deformity of the hand
  • Fatigue and general discomfort

Unfortunately, there is no cure currently available for rheumatoid arthritis. Instead, most patients are managed with medications and other interventions designed to help them move more easily and efficiently, and physical therapy is one of the best tools to help them get there.

Physical Therapy as a Choice for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment in Visalia

Our physical therapists are movement experts that work with each patient individually to identify their biggest limitations from rheumatoid arthritis that are holding them back. From there, we design a personalized treatment program to address these symptoms, which will usually consist of:

  • Manual (hands-on) therapy: may include soft-tissue massage, stretching, and joint mobilizations to reduce pain and improve alignment, mobility, and range of motion
  • Stretching exercises: to improve the flexibility of joints affected by arthritis
  • Strengthening exercises: to build back up strength of the muscles of the hand and any other affected joints
  • Pain-relieving modalities: ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ice, and/or heat to decrease pain and inflammation of the involved joint

Research Supports the Use of Physical Therapy – Therefore, We Provide for Rheumatoid Arthritis Care in Visalia & Hanford

The benefits of physical therapy for rheumatoid arthritis have been confirmed in the medical literature, including one study of 490 patients. Results from this study showed that physical therapist-led hand exercises led to significant improvements in pain and hand function, and the intervention is likely to be cost-effective.

Rheumatoid arthritis can prove to be a nuisance that interferes with your ability to function normally in everyday life. So if you’re affected by symptoms that sound like rheumatoid arthritis, we can help.

Contact Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy at 559-733-2478 (Visalia) or 559-582-1027 (Hanford)


…to learn more about our rheumatoid arthritis experts in Visalia and Hanford…or to schedule an appointment today.

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