Arthritis is a common disease that can take place in both men and women irrespective of age. It usually affects the joint of the body parts and prevents the individual from performing normal activities. If left untreated it can affect the major organs of the body and can result in immobilization and other serious health conditions and even death.
Although there are many types of arthritis, the most common ones are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis, Spondyloarthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Juvenile Arthritis. Medications are considered as the primary method of treatment of all these diseases; however, physio alongside medication can help in faster recovery. The scope of physiotherapy is wide, involving the musculoskeletal, respiratory, and nervous systems. The physiotherapist will prepare a customized plan of exercise for the patient suffering from arthritis which would include the following:
- He or she will teach how to protect the joints and can also apply laser, ultrasound, or electrical devices to reduce pain and swelling.
- Will show certain body postures that will help in reducing pain and will develop a diet plan which would benefit the joints and the bones of the body
- Can recommend certain therapies such as hot and cold therapy and certain support devices to relive stress on the extremities
- Can suggest certain changes to the home setting such as preventing the use of sponge cushions to reduce pain
- He or she will demonstrate ways on how to stay active and independent so that one can lead a better quality of life.
Today, physio is considered as an integral part of the hospital as the physiotherapist can be found in almost all departments of the hospital which include burn unit, intensive care unit, orthopedic department as well as cardiac rehabilitation, spinal cord and brain injury care unit.
The physio can ease the pain and stiffness of the patient suffering from arthritis as it works in the following ways:
- It helps in improving the blood circulation of the body.
- It improves muscle tone and assists the client to maintain the bone strength.
- It prevents an individual from becoming obese as obesity can further complicate the matter.
- It helps in preventing insomnia as the patients usually tend to stay awake at night owing to acute pain in the joints and muscles of the body.
- It makes the areas surrounding the joints stronger and thus helps in reducing pain.
- It improves the balance as the patients suffering from arthritis have the tendency to fall and get injured.
However, once diagnosed with arthritis; it becomes important to consult with a doctor or a physiotherapist to find out which types of exercises one should perform as exercises may vary depending on the age of the patient, present condition of health and many other factors. Simple exercises such as simple walking, neck strengthening exercise, feet movements and swimming are usually recommended as vigorous workouts may lead to certain other problems. Even if a knee replacement or a surgery has been performed, post-surgery one should continue with this various physio in order to recover quickly and to get back to the normal schedules of the everyday life.
One should always keep in mind that doing physical exercise can reduce the pain and prevent it from increasing; however; lack of exercise on the other hand can lead to more stiffness and acute pain all over the body.
Therefore; one should obey the guidelines provided by the physiotherapist to stay away from pain, stiffness and difficulty and in order to enjoy a life.