What your arthritis pain feels like can tell you how severe your arthritis is

What Does Arthritis Feel Like

Pain is a common symptom of osteoarthritis, and it can make your life much more difficult. However, what your arthritis pain feels like can also tell you how quickly your arthritis is progressing. 

Osteoarthritis is a type of progressive inflammation, and it often develops as the joints wear out naturally over time. It’s estimated that more than 33% of Americans have some form of osteoarthritis. Working with a physical therapist can help you learn how what your arthritis pain feels like relates to arthritis progression. Seeing a physical therapist regularly can also help reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis. 

What your arthritis pain can feel like during the four osteoarthritis stages

Pain severity isn’t the only way doctors chart your progression through the four stages of osteoarthritis. But what your arthritis pain feels like is one measure of what stage you’re currently in. Here is how different types of pain may link to specific osteoarthritis stages: 

  • Aching — An occasional aching in the affected joint is often a sign that you have mild or stage one osteoarthritis. Aching that occurs more frequently can be a sign that you’ve entered stage two or the moderate stage of osteoarthritis. 
  • Discomfort — As you progress into stage three of osteoarthritis, your pain will start to appear as minor to moderate discomfort. This discomfort is often most noticeable while you’re moving around. 
  • Severe — By the time you feel severe burning or shooting pain in your joints, you’ve likely entered the fourth, or end, stage of osteoarthritis. This severe pain can often decrease with rest. However, it may not ever disappear entirely. 

How physical therapists can help you no matter what your arthritis pain feels like

A physical therapist can work to reduce your pain no matter what stage of osteoarthritis you’re in. They can even help you recover from a total joint replacement surgery after you reach stage four. Some therapy techniques that your therapist can use to help you manage arthritis pain are:

  • Joint mobilization therapy that can help increase flexibility and mobility in arthritic joints. 

Whatcom PT can help you manage arthritis pain more effectively

Need help managing your pain no matter what your arthritis pain feels like? Our Whatcom Physical Therapy team has experience helping people manage all levels of osteoarthritis pain. We can start your therapy program with a free screening to help us learn as much about your condition as possible. Our therapists can then create a unique therapy plan for you that’s designed to decrease your pain and help you manage it more successfully. 

Is your pain keeping you from leaving your home? No problem! Our therapists can meet with you right in your home via a virtual therapy session. 

Contact our team today for more information about all our arthritis treatment services or to schedule an initial appointment.