Can Physical Therapy Help Arthritis?

Posted on February 20th, 2023 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Understanding Physical Therapy and Arthritis 

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause a range of symptoms, from joint pain to fatigue, and can significantly impact one’s quality of life. Fortunately, physical therapy can help manage arthritis symptoms and even improve one’s range of motion and overall functioning. Let’s take a closer look at how physical therapy can help those with arthritis: 

How Physical Therapy Helps with Arthritis 

Physical therapists are experts in the musculoskeletal system, meaning they understand how joints work, how muscles interact with each other and the bones they support, and which movements benefit joint health. They use this knowledge to develop individualized treatment plans that address a person’s specific needs. These plans generally include stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, functional activities (such as walking or climbing stairs), postural modifications (e.g., sitting correctly), balance training, and gentle massage techniques to reduce inflammation. 

Physical therapists also provide education about self-management strategies for people with arthritis, such as proper nutrition, stress management techniques, appropriate rest periods during activity or exercise, heat or cold therapy applications, lifestyle modifications (e.g., quitting smoking), ergonomic changes at home or work to reduce stress on joints, etc. Physical therapists may also recommend assistive devices such as canes or walkers to make daily activities easier and reduce joint strain without sacrificing function or mobility goals.  

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Arthritis Patients 

The primary benefit of physical therapy is improved function — it helps people move better so they can do what they need without pain or discomfort. Improved movement also leads to improved quality of life; studies have shown that those who engage in physical therapy experience decreased levels of fatigue and depression associated with their arthritis symptoms compared to those who do not participate in physical therapy treatments. In addition to these psychological benefits, research has found that regular participation in physical therapy treatments leads to increased strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and joint stability/mobility, all factors linked to better outcomes in arthritis patients. 


It’s crucial to seek expert medical treatment if you struggle with problems or pain associated with your bones or joints. Give the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group a call at (203) 337-2600, and let us know how we can help you! Don’t let that pain hold you back from living your life. Your health and safety are our top priority.