November 4, 2020 at 4:26 pm · drsahai · 0 comments
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful condition. Physical and occupational therapy can both help you. Many people do not realize how much they rely on their joints. In fact, our joints are helpful when moving around. RA makes these once automatic movements difficult. And painful.
Physical and occupational therapists work to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Their goal is to help you move around more easily. The objective of physical and occupational therapists are similar. But, there are differences between the approaches.
Physical Therapy for RA
PT focuses on the mechanics of the joints. Plus, how they work with the muscle groups nearby. They understand the problems joints also can endure. Not to mention, how best to treat them. The goal is to keep you active. Exercise is used to stimulate muscles, joints, and also bones. You get strength and enhanced fitness.
Initial therapy involves fitness and strength checks. In fact, they need to see how well your joints are working. So, by using this, they develop a plan just for you. Physical therapy can help improve flexibility and strength. Even for those with severe RA also. A typical physical therapy approach will involve methods, such as:
Exercise – designed to match your fitness levels. Includes flexibility, cardio, and strength training. Exercise does so much more for our bones than many of us realize.
Heat or ice – used to reduce swelling and heal muscles. Heat or ice are often utilized for PT with RA patients. Typically ice or heat is a preference when it comes to pain relief.
Also, see: The P.R.I.C.E Protocol Procedures
Massage – to reduce tension and make you feel better. This allows for muscles to relax and return to a normal range of motion. Plus, it’s a hand pain relief method.
Occupational Therapy for RA
The goal is to keep you independent. Furthermore, you will learn different ways to get things done in your daily life. Through therapy, you will learn certain methods, such as:
- Reduce joint strain and protect your joints.
- Find alternatives for daily tasks. You may use both hands for tasks like turning doorknobs. Or wheel heavy bags instead of carrying them.
- Use assistive tools. There are many devices designed to make life easier.
- Reduce your pain. Heat and ice therapy are both critical for pain relief. You may also use splints.
- Exercise at home. Your strength and flexibility will increase with exercises. In fact, the goal is to get you a better range of motion.
Occupational therapy provides treatment for everyday activities. RA can get worse with time. With this approach, you can stay stronger for as long as possible.