Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical therapy is a type of treatment that mainly involves exercises or body movements to improve body posture, increase muscle strength & range of motion in order to reduce pain. Although the name states physical therapy but it equally affects mental state of the person and boosts energy as well as mood of the patient.

Indications for physical therapy

Almost all kinds of arthritis, including OA, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis will benefit from the physical therapy. But it should be done under the supervision of an experienced physical therapist within the limits of body as overdoing exercise is always a risk.

Physical therapies for arthritis

Physical therapies that help to overcome symptoms of the arthritis may include any or all of the following:

  • Hydrotherapy: This includes special exercises that are done in awarm-water pool. Water not only supports the weight of the person but also puts less pressure on muscles and joints.

  • Physiotherapy: It includes specific exercises that cater the individual needs of the patient and helps to improve their general fitness and muscle strength. Physiotherapy may include pain-relieving treatments such as ice or heat packs and massage.

  • Occupational therapy: Almost all the patients of arthritis complaint of decreased quality of their life. They cannot even perform their routine activities. Occupational therapist gives practical advice to these patients on how to manage their everyday tasks with the help of specialized aids and equipment. This will protect the joints of patient from further damage and will also manage fatigue.

Occupational therapy can manage arthritis with following ways:

  • General advice on how to use joints without putting strain on them

  • Suggestions to plan and balance routine activities with rest to reduce tiredness

  • Use of splints to support joints while working or resting

  • Driving and mobility advices

  • Gadgets and equipment recommendations to perform tasks at home and work

  • Exercises to improve hand and wrist movements and grip

  • Relaxation techniques

Advantages of Physical & Occupational therapy

Physical and occupational therapies provide relief to the patient from pain that hampers their daily activities by modifying the style of activity. In addition to this, it provides following advantages:

  • Improves the mobility of affected joint

  • Restores the use of affected joints

  • Builds fitness and ability to perform daily activities

  • Increasing and preserving good range of motion

  • Building strength in the involved muscles surrounding the joint to stabilize a weakened joint

  • Relieves discomfort

  • Improves performance

  • Distributes pressure to minimize stress on any one joint