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How Blood Flow Restriction Training can help arthritis pain

How Blood Flow Restriction Training can help arthritis pain

by Dr. Sam Watkins, DPT 

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint. There are numerous causes of arthritis, but the most common form is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is strongly associated with aging and by the time you reach middle age, you likely have signs of arthritis that would show up in medical imaging, whether you have pain or not.

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and are having pain with activities that you enjoy, physical therapy can be helpful. Working with a physical therapist to manage the stress on the irritated joint, improve your range of motion, and build strength can all help to get you back to doing the things you love.

In a study from the journal, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, researchers followed 2,400 individuals with knee osteoarthritis and found that one of the strongest predictors of worsening symptoms was decreased quadriceps strength.

The quadriceps, the large group of muscles on the front of the thigh, is crucial to stabilizing the knee, but it can be challenging to load this muscle group enough when an arthritic knee is symptomatic. Rest is crucial to calming down the inflamed joint, but another strategy is Blood Flow Restriction training. Blood Flow Restriction training can help you regain quadriceps strength and grow the muscles, using light weights that won’t irritate an inflamed knee joint.

Just because an x-ray shows you have arthritis does not mean that you need to have worsening symptoms. If you are having trouble with daily tasks or other activities you enjoy because of arthritis, schedule an appointment here and begin your path to recovery.

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