October 12th is World Arthritis Awareness Day so we wanted to take this opportunity to share how we at A Body In Motion Rehabilitation can help if you have arthritis. There are two major forms of arthritis: osteoarthritis which occurs when the cartilages between joints are damaged and rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a body’s immune systems affect its own joints. There is no cure for arthritis but physiotherapy is very helpful for anyone suffering from the pain and loss of mobility that arthritis can cause.
The goals for treating a patient with arthritis are to improve mobility, increase strength to support joints, maintain fitness and help manage pain. It is important for anyone with arthritis to have an individualized treatment plan with exercises designed to support their needs and goals. Proper posture is often a focus of arthritis treatment as it is important for pain relief and to improve function. Therefore, your physiotherapist at A Body In Motion Rehabilitation will educate you on what activities are safe and effective for you and will also recommend modifications to your home and work environment that may be needed to improve your function and alleviate your pain.
After a thorough initial assessment which involves evaluation of daily life activities, range of motion, strength and physical function your physiotherapist may use modalities such as acupuncture or electrical stimulation and sometimes hot/cold applications to help manage the pain caused by arthritis. It is important to share your specific complaints and goals with your physiotherapist so he/she can tailor your treatment to suit your needs and lifestyle.
Arthritis can be painful and discouraging at times but with the right physiotherapy treatment plan and support you can get great pain relief and regain your strength and mobility so you can get back to the things you enjoy.