More patients opting for physical therapy to treat arthritis

Our very own Josh Perry, PT, DPT, and patient, Ann Quinn, were recently featured by WJAR in a news bit on physical therapy as treatment for arthritis, read on below!


Joint pain is one of the lingering effects of the pandemic, whether it was directly because of getting COVID-19 or from the inactivity during the last couple of years.

One thing doctors know is arthritis numbers are up — and more and more patients are finding a way to get relief without pain medication.

NBC 10’s Barbara Morse speaks with 74-year-old Ann Quinn of Cranston about how physical therapy helped treat her arthritis in her knee.

“When March 13th came, we came to a complete halt,” said 74-year-old Ann Quinn of Cranston. She had been working as a teacher’s aide when schools were shut down.

“I think between people being less active, from being at home more, not going to work, not being able to go to the gym, take part in activities,” said Josh Perry, who has his doctor of physical therapy. He is also a partner and the regional director for Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy, which has 19 locations throughout Rhode Island.

“Oh definitely, I was less active,” said Quinn.

“And then also people picking up new hobbies whether it was hiking, gardening, new workout routines and not being properly supervised with that, I think it caused a lot of inflammation of arthritis,” added Perry.

Ann Quinn of Cranston receiving treatment with Josh Perry, a doctor of physical therapy and a partner and the regional director for Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy. (WJAR)

Quinn said the pain was unbearable.

“I had it off and on and then in February of this year it got really bad,” said Quinn referring to her left knee. “Constantly. It was keeping me up at night. I was taking Tylenol,” said Quinn.

Her doctor suggested she try physical therapy

And so, she came to Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy.

Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy has 19 locations throughout Rhode Island. (WJAR)

“I sort of like limped in [Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy]” recalled Quinn.

“Ann came in, she could barely walk. She had a huge arthritic flare up and we started with exercises we call them open chain exercises, so more on the table without her feet on the floor,” said Perry.

“It was seven treatments and by definitely the fourth treatment I could feel a difference,” said Quinn.

“I think the phrase that you’ll hear a lot of times is motion is lotion and so just getting people moving and giving them the appropriate exercises at the appropriate levels to not increase the inflammation,” said Perry.

Josh Perry, a doctor of physical therapy and a partner and the regional director for Pappas Physical and Hand Therapy. (WJAR)

“It really hurt so for me to finally say it doesn’t hurt anymore, I was very surprised but I’m very thankful,” said Quinn.

New research also shows a link between an actual COVID-19 infection, which can cause inflammation and arthritis. Either way, Perry said it can be treated with physical therapy.

If you’re suffering, Pappas does free screenings to see if physical therapy might work for you.


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