Sufferers of arthritis will be glad to know that physiotherapy is an ideal treatment to help relieve pain and regain mobility. Physiotherapists are experts when it comes to assessing movement and can help show how to take proper care of your joints. Since therapists are trained in diagnosing muscle and joint problems as well as treating them, many doctors refer their patients to physiotherapy treatment first rather than an orthopedic surgeon.
Your physiotherapist will examine the joints that are giving you trouble and ask questions about your general health history. The assessment will help them design a specific treatment plan that suits your individual needs.
Physiotherapy for arthritis
Treatment will typically consist of an exercise program as well as advice on how to gradually increase your mobility and activity as well as how to avoid any injuries related to exercise.
Depending on your unique condition, pain-relief and therapy treatments can also ice and/or heat packs, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines, hydrotherapy pools, manipulation, taping, massage, medications and acupuncture. You may also be prescribed splints or walking aids to help keep you independent and mobile.
One of the main reasons arthritis sufferers visit physiotherapists is to help manage their pain. If you understand what exactly happens to your muscles and joints when you have to deal with arthritis you’ll be able to help manage the effects.
The pain may be centralized in one specific area of your body or it could effect several areas and be more widespread. You may be taking medication to help numb the pain but your therapist will be able to teach you about other pain-relief methods which may help.
For instance, ice packs may soothe your swollen, hot joints and heat packs often help relax tired and tense muscles. Splints can help painful, swollen joints when rheumatoid arthritis flares up. And as for TENS machines, they work by blocking messages that send pain to your brain. These machines are tiny electronic device which are designed to sends electronic pulses to the nerve endings and the result is a soothing, tingling sensation.
Your exercise and therapy program will come along gradually to make sure you’re not overdoing it as this could increase the pain. Your physiotherapist will let you know how to increasing your level of activity and find the right balance between activity and rest.
The exercises will begin slowly and then gradually increase. This method helps strengthen the joints and muscles and will also aid in your overall level of fitness, strength, mobility and stamina. As this gradually improves you’ll be able to increase your activity without an increase in pain. In addition, a regular exercise program helps stimulate your body to produce its own pain-relieving endorphins.
Other treatments for arthritis could include massage to help relax the muscles and acupuncture to help your brain produce endorphins. Electrotherapy techniques could also be helpful such as low-level laser treatment or ultrasound and manipulation may improve your joints’ range of motion.
If you have arthritis it’s important to try and stay active if possible. However, many people believe exercise may cause further joint damage or increase the pain. Joints are designed for movement though and the tissues and muscles which surround them will weaken when they’re not being used. If this happens the joints could become unstable and this may result in reduced range of motion.
About Spectrum Physiotherapy
Spectrum Physiotherapy is a physio clinic in Newmarket. We specialize in treating chronic conditions such as arthritis. Arthritis can definitely affect your daily activities due to weaker muscles, stiff joints and pain. If you’re suffering from arthritis and would like to relieve the pain while improving your mobility at the same time please feel free to contact our team at Spectrum Physiotherapy for more information.