As an arthritis sufferer, you are most likely looking for many ways to ease your discomfort and pain. Did you know that physiotherapy is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation as a very important key to managing your symptoms?
Some professional guidance from a physiotherapist can greatly assist you to maintain an active life. They can assess your range of movement and advise you about the best methods of protecting your joints.
Here's a quick guide about what to expect from a visit to a physiotherapist and how it will benefit you. Initially,
- The physiotherapist will question you about your present activity level and any specific issues you are facing.
- They will then evaluate your joints to test the range of motion and determine the strength of your muscles.
HOW A PHYSIOTHERAPIST CAN HELP
After the examination, the physiotherapist can create a treatment plan, exercise routine, and activity schedule that is specific to your requirements. The type of program is likely to include:
This covers ways to increase your levels of activity and how to balance those activities with rest. Additionally, there will be help for setting goals and monitoring your progress.
A Graded Exercise Program
- This is designed to improve strength, mobility, and fitness. You can continue the routine at home after the physiotherapist takes you through it.
Pain Management Advice
- Includes advice about the use of ice packs to relieve hot and swollen joints and heat packs to relax tense muscles
- Using massage to reduce stiffness and relax muscles
- Discussing the benefit of steroid injections for particularly painful joints
- Arranging for splints or walking aids if required
- Using electrotherapy with ultrasound and low-level lasers aids the healing process
- Possible referral to an acupuncturist where pain signals can be diverted and natural endorphins released
WHAT THE EXERCISES COVER
- stretches to improve your joints' range of motion and reduce aches and problems
- joint-supporting muscle-strengthening activities to increase or maintain muscular vigour
- proprioceptive or kinesthetic activities, where your body senses balance, agility, and coordination
- general fitness routines, which are crucial for your overall health
Many physiotherapists have access to hydrotherapy or aquatic treatment. You can practice exercises in warm water. Moving in water is easier because the warmth is comforting and the water supports your weight so you may move without putting undue stress on your joints and muscles.
Your physiotherapist will be able to give you advice on any local walking or sports clubs as well as any yoga, Pilates, or t'ai chi sessions that might be offered.
Contact a local physiotherapy clinic for more info.