Arthritis. Does Physical Therapy Help?

San Antonio Physical Therapy

According to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, 20.7% of Bexar County residence have been diagnosed with Arthritis. With over 100 forms of arthritis, there is understandable confusion about the different forms of arthritis and the treatment options for each. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent, while Rheumatoid arthritis is the most disabling. Those with arthritis do not have to live in pain, as there are treatment options beyond medication and surgery available.

Osteoarthritis affects nearly 21 million people in the US. It occurs frequently in males before the age of 45, and in women after the age of 55. 70% of people over the age of 70 have x-ray evidence of Osteoarthritis. OA is caused by the breaking down of joint cartilage and usually begins in a single joint.


  • Pain in the joint after activity
  • Morning stiffness that lasts less than 30 min.
  • Pain is worse later in the day
  • Affected joints may swell, feel warm and become stiff after prolonged inactivity
  • Characteristics include bone spurs, bony enlargements and decreased motion

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects nearly 2.1 million people in the US. It typically onsets between the ages of 30-60. The joints are primarily affected, but it can spread to integral organs as well. No single causes of RA have been discovered.


  • Joint Pain
  • Joint Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Limited Mobility
  • Redness/ Warmth near the joint
  • Morning Stiffness lasts over 1 hour


  • Fabricating or providing new equipment and teaching techniques to make activities of daily living easier and less painful
  • Developing a customized home exercise program
  • Implementing stretches to keep joints more loose and flexible
  • Working through a customized exercise program to increase muscle function for endurance and strength
  • Incorporating modalities such as paraffin and moist heat to decrease pain
  • Educating patients about joint protection, energy conservation and work simplification to protect and reduce external stresses on joints

The licensed physical therapists at Mission Physical Rehabilitation are skilled at helping arthritis patients reduce pain, deformity, disability and instability. Programs also focus on increased range of motion and strength. For more information about our arthritis programs — CALL US TODAY.