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Preventing Post-Traumatic Arthritis

nurse taking senior woman's pulse as she holds a ball sitting by her husband

What exactly is post-traumatic arthritis?

Arthritis is commonly defined as a disorder within a joint either due to inflammation or wear-and-tear, which can be divided into many categories. Post-traumatic arthritis is a kind of arthritis which specifically occurs after any kind of physical injury. The physical injury could be inflicted by a vehicle accident, sports accident, a military exercise, etc. Preventing post trauma arthritis needs to be a priority from the start.

An injury of any sort can lead to damage in the tissue which eventually keeps weakening and breaking down at a slow rate. Eventually, the pain of the injury sets in the area causing joints to go stiff and swell up, leading to arthritis. Any kind of physical trauma can damage either the cartilage or the joint of the injured area, leading to a quicker degradation of the joint as compared to normal. The susceptibility to post traumatic arthritis increases especially if the injured continues to put stress on that specific body part, for example, a soccer player continuously playing the game even after a knee injury is at a greater risk.

What can you do to prevent post-traumatic arthritis?

Choose the right type of shoes. Depending on the activity, the type of shoes for different type of ground surface decides the level of friction. The level of friction when running on concrete path will be different as the level of friction compared to running on grass. It is ideal to select the right type of shoes for the respective turf so that further damage to the injured area is avoided easily.

Stay out of the cold. Cold weather conditions can impose a greater risk of post-traumatic arthritis. As cold and damp weather can cause increased joint pain, the injured areas are prone to experiencing more wear and tear of the cartilage.

Exercise properly. As you’re recovering from your injury, it is recommended to not overwork the muscles and joints to add anymore stress to the affected area. Doctors recommend proper exercise so that there is an increase in muscle flexion, trunk and core control within the affected area.

Don’t expose your injury to stress. The worst factor that plays the biggest role in leading to post-injury arthritis is when the affected continues to do what led to the injury in the first place. For example, a person who types at a computer all day long has fractured his thumb. Regardless, he takes no rest, and as soon as he deals with the fracture, he goes back to typing again, eventually developing arthritis of the thumb.

Seek professional care. It is always a good idea to see a professional. This is where many types of alternative medicine can help. Many injuries heal faster with regular massage, physical therapy can point you in the right direction. Some injuries benefit from botanical injections, instead of steroids. Even vitamins and supplements can help you heal faster. All of these services plus gentle, chiropractic care are available at AFC Physical Medicine & Chiropractic Centers. We at AFC are here to help you get back to enjoying life pain-free, so contact us today to set up an appointment.

Now what?

If you have developed injury, it is best to take precautions before the condition worsens. By taking proper rest, icing the area, providing compression like splint or cast and keeping the area elevated, you can greatly reduce the possibility of developing arthritis after an injury. The key is to respect the pain barrier and ceasing any activity or action which caused the injury in the first place.