Physiotherapy, the treatment of injury, deformity, or conditions through physical means like exercise and massage is an essential aspect for individuals suffering arthritis. It is practiced by physiotherapists, who are a part of healthcare practitioners who help patients resume and maintain an active or independent life. Physiotherapists are experts in assessing movements and can help protect your joints.
The role of a physiotherapist includes:
-Giving advice & reassurance
-Helping patients feel confident about managing their conditions
-Setting appropriate goals to keep patients active as possible
-Address any uncertainties or concerns
These practitioners are fully trained to diagnose and treat muscle and joint problems. Your general practitioner can refer you to a physiotherapist rather than an orthopaedic surgeon or rheumatologist.
A physiotherapist starts by asking questions and assessing the painful joints. This allows them to tailor the right treatment, which may include:
-Advice on increasing activity levels & preventing workout-related injuries
-A regime of specific workouts
-Pain alleviation treatments like heat or ice packs, massage, acupuncture, TENS machines, taping and manipulation.
-Giving splints or walking aids to help patients stay mobile & independent.
How Does Physiotherapy Help?
Comprehending How Your Condition Affects You
Part of a physiotherapist’s job is to help you understand what happens to your muscles and joints when suffering from arthritis. Understanding this goes a long way in helping you manage the condition’s effects.
Arthritis can either cause pain in one spot or more widespread. Medications can provide temporary help, but a physiotherapist will provide other pain alleviation methods that work alongside your medication. Some of the treatments you can do yourself in between appointments include:
-Using ice packs to soothe the hot and swollen joints
-Using heat packs to relax tired or muscles.
-Splinting painful or swollen joints can be of help, during a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up for example.
-TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations which functions by blocking pain messages to the brain by altering pain perception. A TENS machine is a small device that sends pulses to the affected region’s nerve endings through pads placed on the skin. They cause tingling sensations to achieve the desired results.
Do Regular Graded Workouts
Graded workouts start slowly and increase gradually. This helps strengthen the affected joints and muscles while improving your fitness as well as stamina. This helps increase the general activity level without increasing pain. Regular graded exercise is ideally vital in stimulating the production of natural pain-alleviating hormones, also known as endorphins.
Keep in mind that overdoing things can worsen the pain and worsen the condition, but the same happens when you don’t enough. Your practitioner will advise you on how to improve your activity level at a rate that you can cope with. They also help you find the best balance between activity and rest. Planning your activities like workouts so that you do not overdo allows you to enjoy the things you do on a regular basis and gives you independence.
Your practitioner can offer an array of other treatments depending on the severity of your condition. These include:
-Acupuncture to stimulate the brain to release endorphins. You will come across physiotherapists trained to provide acupuncture.
-Massage sessions to help with joint movement and relax the muscles.
So there you have it, the importance and what is involved in physiotherapy.