Rehabilitation for Managing Arthritis
By Space Coast Daily // July 28, 2021
If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, you’re undoubtedly wondering how to decrease joint discomfort and delay the advancement of the condition. Medication may help short-term but there is a healthier alternative to effective treatment. Arthritis rehabilitation therapy services help you manipulate painful joints to increase mobility and allow you to be more active.
What is Arthritis Rehabilitation Therapy?
Arthritis is the deterioration or loss of articular cartilage in the joints. It can be caused by age-related wear and tear, genetics, repetitive strain injuries, ligament or connective tissue damage, or excessive steroid usage.
Arthritis rehabilitation is based on the needs of each individual patient to help relieve painful symptoms and improve limited motion. Although there is no cure for arthritis, arthritis rehabilitation and physical therapy can help people manage their symptoms and live active, pain-free lives.
To achieve optimal physical function, a personalized fitness plan is created with exercises that promote strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. With rheumatoid arthritis therapy treatment, qualified practitioners can help increase mobility in afflicted joints, work on improving strength, maintain physical fitness and teach optimal posture mechanics to carry out daily tasks.
Treatment also works to reduce discomfort and show patients how to utilize assistance devices like walkers and canes effectively. Support aids like braces, splints, and shoe inserts that decrease stress on the lower extremities could also be recommended.
The focus on exercises and instruction helps patients regain range of motion and strengthen muscles around afflicted joints so they may continue normal activities. Additionally, cold and hot packs, as well as deep ultrasound treatments, may be used in physical therapy to help relieve joint discomfort and inflammation.
What arthritis rehabilitation therapy includes?
Physical therapy is a medical specialty that focuses on helping patients regain or improve movement and function through exercises, manipulations, and specialized equipment. Therapists work with the patients to apply treatment that is congruent with the diagnosis, prognosis, and goals of the patient.
The practitioner will do a complete evaluation before arthritis rehabilitation to analyze and determine the appropriate treatment that may include a combination of methods.
To avoid exacerbating the condition, physical treatment for arthritis gently progresses with rest, inflammation reduction, joint protection, and increased blood circulation prioritized for healing. Once the inflammation has subsided, a stretching and strengthening program will be implemented to help the affected joint regain flexibility and strength while reducing stress.
A number of tests will be carried out to discover which joint is affected and how severe the inflammation is. The therapist will go over whatever tasks you have trouble with and assist you in making technique changes to minimize joint stress. Physical therapy can help bend and straighten joints more easily. Even small changes in a joint’s range of motion can make a big effect. Getting an arthritic knee to bend 10 degrees more, for example, may allow you to comfortably climb in and out of low chairs.
The purpose of resistive testing is to see if there are any linked weakness or strength abnormalities. When the protecting cartilage in a joint wears away, there can be painful friction between the joint’s bones. Strengthening the surrounding muscles that support the joint can help to reduce friction. A physical therapist identifies the areas of impairment and teaches you how to address them with functional strengthening to enhance joint strength and stability.
On smooth and uneven ground, the therapist will examine your gait and balance. To improve safety when moving as well as minimize stress on the affected joint, an assistive device such as a cane or walker might be supplied. Muscle weakness, diminished joint function, decreased mobility, and other factors all contribute to impacting balance. Physical therapists may integrate balancing components in your treatment plan, such as variations in terrain/surface, walking distances, and elevation, to imitate daily functioning duties and lower your chance of falling.
Arthritic joints can be relieved of stress by having good posture. Your therapist can teach you how to improve your posture and reduce joint stress as you sit, stand, and walk. This could include advice on how to improve your surroundings at home, at work, and even in your car. Simple adjustments, such as altering the position of your car seat, can relieve stress on your arthritic joints and make your daily routine more manageable.
How to find arthritis rehabilitation therapy services?
Ask your doctor for a reference if you’re interested in arthritis and rehabilitation therapy services. To see a physical therapist, you may not need a doctor’s referral, but check with your insurer to see whether it is covered. If your insurance has a limit on the number of sessions you can have for a certain issue, make sure you know about it ahead of time.
You can also go to a reputable medical center like Everest Rehabilitation Hospitals in your area or search for a therapist by location on the American Physical Therapy Association’s website.
Licensed physical therapists can be found in a range of healthcare settings including hospitals, outpatient offices, rehab centers, private practices, and nursing homes. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential therapists, phone their clinics and enquire about things like if the therapist has experience with your specific type of arthritis.
What patients can benefit from arthritis rehabilitation therapy?
People suffering from rheumatic conditions that affect muscles and bones, as well as stiffness, pain, and swelling around the joints, will benefit from arthritis rehabilitation. Osteoarthritis is the most frequent type of arthritis but there are other disorders like inflammatory spinal conditions that can also be treated with arthritis therapy methods.