Arthritis Therapy Post Procedure Treatment and General Care

After surgery or a traumatic injury, arthritis therapy is extremely essential for rehabilitation, in order to get you back to regular life as quickly as possible. Physical therapists have a good knowledge of body mechanics and understand the special needs of patients who have just undergone surgery. They can design specific exercises and workouts to speed up the recovery process during the arthritis therapy phase.

Post Procedure Care After Arthritis Therapy

It is necessary to exercise your joints after surgery to get you back on the road to recovery. After surgery or injury, scarring and stiffening of tissues can occur. It is necessary to exercise the affected area so that it does not limit your movements in any way during your long term therapy. Your therapist will mainly concentrate on stretching and muscle toning exercises for arthritic patients.

Arthritis Therapy Post Procedure Tip #1 – Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises will help in preventing stiffening of muscles and tissues and will help maintain flexibility in your joints.

Arthritis Therapy Post Procedure Tip #2 – Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Muscle toning exercises help in strengthening muscles. This is especially necessary in arthritic patients as stiffening joints can put more strain on the muscles and make them more prone to wear and tear.

Arthritis Therapy Post Procedure Tip #3 – Massage or Thermal Treatment

You might be instructed to apply ice-packs or heat-pads on the affected areas to help relax the muscles and reduce inflammation and pain. A course of massage might also be recommended to relieve pain and stiffening of tissues.

Arthritis Therapy Post Procedure Tip #4 – Diet Recommendations

Although there is no specific diet for arthritis, a proper diet can help in keeping your weight down. Increased body weight can put more strain on the supportive muscles and joints and aggravate the condition.

Arthritis Therapy Post Procedure Tip #5 – Lifestyle Changes

Your physical and occupational therapist might advice some changes in your environment to help achieve economy of movement and to reduce the stress placed on your joints and muscles. They might also advice you on how to modify certain activities so that you use alternate muscles and not put too much strain on the affected and vulnerable parts of your body.

Certain external aids like shock absorbing shoes and splints to support your joints might also be prescribed.

Follow the Instructions Even After Recovery

Recovery after surgery or injury is a long and tedious process. Physical therapy for arthritis can help your rehabilitation, but it takes a lot of willpower to keep at it. But, if you are persistent, your recovery will be quicker and your life easier.

After the course of therapy is over and you are back to normal life, you still need to take care that you do not neglect any exercise regime or other advice given by your therapist. This is important to prevent a recurrence of your problem and to maintain the flexibility and use of your joints.

In case any of the pain or symptoms appears again, remember the instructions given for physical therapy when these symptoms first occurred. What were the steps you were told to follow to deal with them? In case you do not remember, call your therapist again to review them post arthritis therapy.

It is important to keep exercising your joints and muscles even after you have fully recovered, to maintain flexibility and to keep functioning normally.  Do not be lulled into a sense of complacency after you get back to normal life after treatment. You have to follow some basic work-out regime to maintain the use of your joints. Failure to continue doing your stretching exercises, for instance, might in time lead to stiffening of the joints again.

Follow your therapist’s instructions carefully and stick to the arthritis therapy exercise system and any dietary recommendations. If you have been asked to make any lifestyle changes, implement those too. All this will make your life easier and prevent any of the problems from appearing again. This will assure a longer life to your joints and muscles and make your life that much easier.

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Training – Arthritis Knowhow

Opting for physical therapy and training from occupational therapists can help an arthritis patient cope with the affliction in a better way and lead as normal and pain-free a life as possible. Arthritis is a painful and potentially crippling disease that can make your life hard. Physical therapy can help an arthritis patient learn to cope with the disease better and learn new ways of working around the difficulties caused by this condition.

Occupational and Physical Therapy Basics

What Physical Therapy Actually Is

Physical therapy for arthritis will focus on how your body functions and such therapists will prescribe exercises that will tone up and strengthen the muscles to reduce the stress and pain in your joints.   They can prescribe a course of exercise to lessen the stiffness in the joints and increase mobility. They will also teach you some exercises that can help you tone up to your muscles.

What Occupational Therapy Actually Is

Occupational therapy training focuses on your interaction with your environment on a daily basis. Occupational therapists study how you perform your daily and mundane activities and show you ways to make those tasks easier on your joints. They normally suggest small modifications to aid you like using grab-bars around the toilet to help you get up, bath-stools in the shower, and shoulder straps on your bags or briefcases rather than a hand grip.

They can also suggest supplemental devices to help support your joints like hand splints. They ideally suggest devices that help make everyday tasks easier for you.

Basic Measures in Occupational and Physical Therapy

physical therapy

Physical therapy can help in strengthening the joints in order to deal with the condition

Occupational and physical therapists procedure might involve a rage of treatments, massages, exercises and external aids.

  • Massage

Ice-packs or heat-pads can be used to reduce inflammations around joints.

  • Rest

Because of the pain and stiffness in the joints, ordinary activities can be tiring and your therapist might suggest rest periods especially after more stressful activities.

  • Exercises

Exercising your joints without stressing them will prevent the loss of use of the affected parts. It will help you retain a certain amount of flexibility in them. Some strengthening exercises will help tone up your muscles to prevent wear and tear.

Exercises and diet control might be prescribed to keep the weight down. An increase in the body’s weight can put more strain on the joints and can worsen the condition.

Lifestyle Changes During Occupational and Physical Therapy

Foot care and Joint Support

Your therapist can advise you on the proper kind of footwear for you including special shoes that support the contours of your feet, like shock absorbing shoes. He might also use splints to provide support to weakened joints.

Environmental Modifications

Therapists will advise you to use certain aids like grab-bars to help you get to your feet from a sitting position. Your therapist might also suggest how you can rearrange your work and home environment to provide proper room for movement and to lessen the amount of stress placed on your joints.

Activity Modifications

Your therapist might also suggest measures to change the way you perform certain tasks to reduce the strain on your joint muscles and bones. For instance, he might suggest ways to avoid standing for long periods of time while performing certain tasks, like using a bath-stool in the shower.

He can train you on how to use alternate muscles like using your shoulders to carry weights instead of your hands, spreading the stress of certain tasks more evenly over your body instead of on just one or two parts.

Occupational and Physical Therapy Duration

The duration of the therapy depends on the severity of your condition. If the problem has just started, your recovery time might be quicker. If you have lived with arthritis for long, then you may need more time to feel better. Whatever the case might be, remember that you should not stop the exercises after you stop visiting the therapist.

You need to strictly follow the instructions of your therapist even after you feel better in order to maintain the health of your joints and muscles. The long term goal of the treatment is to prevent loss of use of the affected areas and to maintain muscle and tissue flexibility and ease of movement.

Physical therapy will help through your recovery and rehabilitation by exercising your joints and muscles to maintain their flexibility. Occupational therapy will teach you how to adapt your environment to reduce stress on your joints.

Only by opting for occupational or physical therapy methods will you be able to deal with the condition, although there’s no definite cure for the same. Just ensure that you stay in touch with your physician and therapist during the entire procedure for arthritis therapy.

Information On Arthritis Remedies – Physical and Occupational Arthritis Therapy

Arthritis remedies – physical and occupational therapy exercises included – can help in pain management. Regardless of the causes of arthritis, physical and occupational therapy can also help arthritis patients manage their day to day activities much more normally.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will in all probability recommend physical and occupational arthritis therapy. The following steps will have to be taken while preparing for arthritis remedies with uniquely tailored therapy exercises.

arthritis remedies

Talking to your therapist can help you with your preparation for arthritis remedies

Preparing for Arthritis Remedies

The focus of physical and occupational arthritis therapy is disease management. So you, your doctor and your physical or occupational therapist have to work as a team to frame a plan for arthritis pain treatment. This means that there should be good communication between the three of you. Your goals should be clearly discussed and set.

Arthritis cures don’t exist and physical therapy can only help improve the strength and flexibility of the joints. The treatment plan will include a series of physical exercises. Before starting the physical therapy sessions, it is important to put into place an exercise program that is customized especially for you. The program should take into account your physical limitations. The therapist may conduct tests and measures during a preliminary session to understand the extent of functionality in your joints.

Preparing for Arthritis Remedies #1 – Talk to the Physician

Occupational therapy is different from physical therapy. Here the therapist will work on making your home and work environment more conducive so that you find it easy to continue with your day to day activities. This would necessitate on-site visits to your home and office. Again communication with your occupational therapist is very important before you embark on the process. Have a discussion about your physical limitations and how the layout at your home or office is affecting your ability to function.

Preparing for Arthritis Remedies #2 – Talk to Other Patients

Before beginning your therapy, speak to friends or acquaintances who have undergone the procedure. Know what to expect by listening to their experiences. Their experience will help you understand what exactly you can hope to gain by going in for the therapy session. Visit the facility where you would be undergoing therapy. Make yourself familiar with the surroundings before beginning your therapy sessions.

Preparing for Arthritis Remedies #3 – Effectively Use Assisting Devices

There are several assisting devices that can be used to either improve your mobility or to make your environment more conducive to your physical condition. These could be as varied as walkers and crutches that help you walk more easily to helpful tools like grab bars in the bathroom. They can make life easy as well as reduce stress on your joints.

Before starting your therapy, your therapist will probably provide you with a catalogue of such devices. Prepare yourself mentally to introduce them into your life. It might affect you psychologically, but talk to your therapist about any hesitation that you might have.

Preparing for Arthritis Remedies #4 – Fine Tune Your Treatment Program

You are the main person of your treatment team. It is important to understand this before starting physical and occupational therapy. If you are not happy with the progress, discuss the issues with your doctor and therapist so that the program can be tweaked and fine tuned.

Physical therapy and occupation therapy can bring about improvements in the quality of life of arthritis patients. But it is important to prepare yourself physically and mentally before embarking on programs concerning arthritis remedies.

Diagnosis for Arthritis Treatment – Testing the Causes

Arthritis treatment can only be given if the signs of arthritis are properly diagnosed and effectively confirmed.

This is because there are over 100 different types of arthritis and as a result, even though you may have the significant signs of arthritis, testing and diagnostic measures may take some time to pinpoint the type of arthritis that you are suffering from. Arthritis treatment can then be provided accordingly, taking into consideration

arthritis treatment

A physical checkup is first done before arthritis treatment in order to find the cause

Diagnostic Tests for Arthritis Treatment

It’s time to see a doctor if you have persistent pain, stiffness and swelling in a joint for more than two weeks. The doctor may put you through the following diagnostic steps.

Diagnostic Test for Arthritis Treatment #1 – Physical Examination

Taking up a physical examination and going through the patient’s medical history can help, as this will bring to the fore previously unknown aspects and related conditions that can cause arthritis.

diagnosis and arthritis treatment

Lab tests that are essential and they are carried out for timely diagnosis and arthritis treatment

Diagnostic Test for Arthritis Treatment #2 – Lab Tests

Lab tests including the rheumatoid factor test, enthrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, anti-cyclic citrullinated Peptide Antibody Test (anti-CCP), HLA tissue typing, and uric acid tests are performed in order to detect arthritis.

The signs of rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed from the rheumatoid factor test. This is an antibody that is present in 80% of adults who have rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-CCP is also used to confirm the diagnosis in patients with signs of rheumatoid arthritis. If these tests are positive, then the doctor is likely to talk to you about treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnostic Test for Arthritis Treatment #3 – Biopsies

Biopsies and joint fluid analysis are also often used to diagnose arthritis. This is normally done for systemic rheumatic diseases. Biopsies give valuable information based on which a doctor can make his diagnosis. The joint fluid analysis is a good indicator of the health of a joint.

arthritis treatment diagnosis

Biopsies and joint fluid analysis are often used as an arthritis treatment

Diagnostic Test for Arthritis Treatment #4 – Medical Imaging

Medical imaging is useful to diagnose arthritis. The doctor can order either X-rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). While X-rays will show abnormalities in the bones and joints, damage to the cartilages and ligaments do not show up. The MRI is a much more accurate diagnostic tool and provides doctors with information on small changes in bones, joints and soft tissues.

Differences Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

  • Osteoarthritis is often the result of aging and results from the breakdown of the joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis symptoms include pain in the joint after repeated activity. The patient suffers from morning stiffness and the joint pain becomes worse as the day progresses.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is classified as an auto-immune disease and is a chronic condition. The symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and redness. Though a lot of research has been done, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been pinpointed.
  • As far as diagnosis is concerned, doctors often use joint fluid removal and analysis in order to differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. For a patient with osteoarthritis symptoms, a doctor may still order various blood tests in order to rule out other conditions especially rheumatoid arthritis.

Difficulties Involved in Arthritis Diagnosis

Diagnosis may take some time, because the symptoms may overlap with that of other diseases. For example rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may often seem to be very similar to that of gout or fibromyalgia. It may also resemble symptoms that are caused by infections that lead to joint infections. In fact, the average time between the first appearance of rheumatoid arthritis and its diagnosis is as long as nine months – indicating the difficulties involved.

Once the diagnosis is established, it is best to discuss arthritis treatment options with your physician.

Causes of Arthritis and the Need for Physical and Occupational Therapy

A look at the causes of arthritis can highlight the need for physical and occupational therapy. There is no single reason why a person can be afflicted with arthritis. Research and various studies conducted have shown that there are various causes of arthritis.

causes of arthritis

The causes of arthritis are hereditary in most cases.

The Primary Causes of Arthritis

Causes of Arthritis #1 – Heredity

There are more than 100 known types of arthritis and studies indicate that only a few of them are hereditary in nature. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two very common forms of arthritis. However, they are not regarded as being hereditary in nature. On the other hand, gout and ankylosing spondylitis show a tendency to be hereditary.

Causes of Arthritis #2 – Weight

A tendency to be overweight often leads to development of arthritis. This is because the joint has to support a lot of excess weight and this wears off very fast. According to CDC data, 66% of adults with doctor diagnosed arthritis are overweight or obese. Research done by Framingham Osteoarthritis Study and published in Arthritis Rheum showed that overweight women who lost as little as 11 pounds reduced their risk of getting arthritis by as much as 50%.

arthritis pain

As people grow older the chances of getting arthritis pain increases considerably

Causes of Arthritis #3 – Age

As people grow older, they are more likely to get arthritis. This is because the cartilage becomes brittle with age. It also loses its capacity to repair itself, leading to joint damage and arthritis. According to published NHIS data, in the years 2007-2009, 50% of adults of 65 years and more in the US reported arthritic conditions. According to an article published in Arthritis and Rheumatism 2006, by the year 2030, 67 million Americans of 18 years and above are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Causes of Arthritis #4 – Previous Injury, Infection or Illness

Joint infections or injuries to the joint can lead to the onset of arthritis. Injuries such as fracture, ligament tear or tendon injury can be the cause of arthritis. Very often, bacterial and viral conditions which cause Chlamydia and mumps leave patients with arthritis.

Arthritis Pain and Physical Therapy Benefits

physical therapy benefits

The ability to strengthen muscles around weak joints are one of the many important physical therapy benefits.

Arthritis can lead to crippling pain which affects normal day to day activities. Arthritis patients often suffer from inflammation, pain, swelling and tenderness of the joint. The joint is often stiff and inflexible, affecting their mobility. Arthritis relief can be found with physical therapy.

  • Physical therapy helps to strengthen the muscles around the weak joint. The joint thus finds greater support leading to enhanced flexibility and mobility.
  • Physical therapy also teaches arthritic patients on how to use their joints in the correct manner. It spells out how to make specific movements. As a result, the stress on the joints reduces and the patient experiences relief.
  • By teaching patients on how to use their joints correctly, physical therapy is able to improve the functioning of the joint. This combined with better pain management can help prevent surgical interventions.

Arthritis Pain and Occupation Therapy Benefits

Occupation therapy is different from physical therapy as it does not work on treating the joint.

  • Occupation therapy involves on-site assessment and making changes in the home and work environment of patients suffering from arthritis.
  • The environments are modified and changed so that arthritic patients can carry out their normal day to day activities without too many problems.
  • This easing of conditions will help to reduce stress on the joint and this provides arthritis relief.
  • The occupation therapist will also suggest appropriate devices or aids that can help improve patient mobility and functionality. This may include walkers, canes or crutches.

Arthritis can often leave a person completely crippled. However, appropriate treatment accompanied by physical and occupational therapy can ensure relief from arthritis pain. It can also bring about significant improvements in quality of life. Identifying the causes of arthritis and taking preventive measures is what you should primarily aim to do.

Physical and Occupational Therapy for Arthritis – An Introduction

Physical and occupational therapy for Arthritis can benefit patients immensely as arthritis is a very challenging condition that’s accompanied by intense pain, which most people will be unable to cope with.

physical and occupational therapy for arthritis

Access to physical and occupational therapy for arthtiris is very low and hard to come by

Therapy for Arthritis – The Basics and Types

To learn about the different types of therapy for arthritis that a patient can opt for, you need to be well versed about the condition and what exactly it entails. This will help you understand the intricacies behind the treatment in a better fashion.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is defined as a joint disorder which involves inflammation. It is accompanied by extreme pain. Over 100 different types of arthritis have already been defined – and the number keeps growing.

In fact, so widespread is this joint disorder that a study conducted for the US National Arthritis Data Workgroup found that 21% of US adults (46.4 million people) have self-reported, doctor diagnosed arthritis.

The Need for Therapy for Arthritis

physical therapy for arthritis

Physical therapy for arthtitis focuses on strengthening the joints

Arthritis is often accompanied by excruciating pain and stiffness of joints. The joints often appear swollen, red and tender under this condition. Given the pain and the accompanying fatigue, arthritis patients will often be unable to indulge in normal activities, affecting the quality of their life. Patients will also note their range of movements becoming increasingly limited as the arthritis progresses.

Research shows that access to physical and occupational therapy for arthritis is often difficult for most patients. According to a study carried out at the Montreal University in Canada, only 11.5% of family physicians and 31.7% of rheumatologists referred patients with arthritis to rehabilitation.

Only 21.6% of patients felt that they needed to be rehabilitated. The sample size for the survey was 600 family physicians and 85 rheumatologists in Quebec. This shows that the efficacy of physical and occupation therapy for arthritis is yet to be fully understood.

Physical Therapy for Arthritis and Rehabilitation

Research indicates that physical exercises can be helpful in mitigating the symptoms of arthritis.

  • Physical therapy for arthritis done under proper supervision can help in improving muscle strength and flexibility. Stronger muscles will help you support the weaker joint.
  • Such therapy can increase your range of movements and help in pain management.
  • Physical therapy for arthritis involves a range of exercises that are designed to retain the strength of your joints.
  • It focuses on teaching arthritis patients on how to use their joints. The exercises will provide guidance to stiff arthritic patients on how to move from one position to the other. Physical therapy for arthritis will focus on getting patients to make movements without further damaging the joints.
  • The ultimate goal of physical therapy rehabilitation is to get a patient back to the point where he can perform normal activities minus the excruciating pain.

Occupational Therapy for Arthritis and Rehabilitation

occupational therapy for arthritis

Occupational therapy for arthritis focuses more on lifestyle modifications

Occupational therapy for arthritis involves therapists working with arthritis patients to go about their daily activities. This can be done in several ways.

  • Occupational therapists will work to modify the home or work environment so that patients can carry out their normal activities without putting too much stress on their joints.
  • A therapist will work with patients and teach them how to use their arthritic joint correctly while doing their normal, everyday activities.
  • If required, occupational therapy rehabilitation will involve the development of various aids and assistive devices that can help in easing activities like bathing, driving and housekeeping.

Difference Between Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy for arthritis are focused on entirely different aspects. Unlike physical therapy, occupational therapy does not directly treat the arthritic joint. Rather, it focuses on trying to improve the patient’s functionality. This is done by conducting on-site assessments of the patient’s home and work environment.

Occupational therapists will then make suggestions on how to make these environments more conducive and less stressful. The physical therapist on the other hand will be more concerned with the treatment of the aching joint.

Physical and occupational therapy for arthritis can definitely provide additional help in managing the condition. Using these rehabilitation techniques as arthritis remedies will help in improving quality of life of arthritis patients.