Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis with Physiotherapy

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Inflammation of joints causing redness and pain is known as arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is chronic autoimmune disorder that affects not only the joints but also skin, eyes, lungs, heart, nerves and blood vessels. It occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the body erroneously instead of the foreign particles like virus or bacteria thus causing inflammation. In contradiction to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints that cause painful inflammation which results into erosion of the bones and deformity of joints. This inflammation may cause impairment of other parts of the body eventually.

What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • Swollen joints on both sides of the body; i.e. both hands, both knees, both eyes and so on. This symmetry differentiates it from other types of arthritis.
  • Stiffness of joints that seems to get worse in the mornings or after a period of inactivity.
    Lethargy and drastic loss of weight, sometimes accompanied by frequent fever.
  • Early stages of RA affect the hands initially beginning with the joints of the fingers and toes. In the progressive stage, the symptoms of RA spreads to the wrists, ankles, hips, shoulders on both sides of the body.
  • Over the time, RA may cause deformity of the joints.
  • The symptoms of RA are irregular in frequency and can vary in severity.

Does RA affect only the joints?

More than 40% of the people are diagnosed with RA affecting their:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels

How does physiotherapy help to manage the pain of RA?

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis with physiotherapy helps in achieving better mobility, strength and performing activities of daily living. Physiotherapy can be helpful reducing pain in the joints and muscles. In most cases, opting for managing Rheumatoid Arthritis with physiotherapy results in:

  • Better pain management and control
  • Improved ADL
  • Increase in range of motion
  • Prevent or control wear-and-tear of joints
  • Strengthening of joints
  • Increased stability
  • Better co-ordination of muscles and joints

Procedures followed for managing RA with physiotherapy:

Physio exercises: A proper planned physio workout session involving stretching, strengthening and aerobic conditioning can be highly beneficial to those affected with RA.

Use of modalities:

 

  • Phonophoresis: Phonophoresis is the use of ultrasound to boost the effectiveness of topically applied drugs. It helps to reduce the chronic pain in the joints that is experienced due to chronic inflammation of the affected joints.
  • Interferential Current: This involves the application of alternating current signals of variable frequency to infiltrate tissue painlessly.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): The process of treating pain with the use of mild electric current by inducing endorphin release to reduce the pain.
  • Cryotherapy: Application of ice to the region of pain to relieve muscle spasm, reduce spasticity and control swelling in the acute inflammation stage with cold packs, ice massage or vacocoolant sprays also prove beneficial for managing Rheumatoid Arthritis with physiotherapy

 

Call us @ 011-39589169 to book an appointment with our therapists

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How Physiotherapy Can Help with Lower Back Pain

Your back is one of the most intricate, frequently used parts of the body. If you suffer from lower back pain, physiotherapy can help restore your body to the way it was prior to your injury. Physiotherapists use both active and passive forms of physical therapy to help you get back on track.

How Physiotherapy Can Help Lower Back Pain

Here are some ways that each type of therapy can help reduce pain in your lower back:

Passive Physiotherapy

Passive physical therapy is used to treat lower back pain using many different modalities. This process involves therapy performed by the physiotherapist to the passive patient to help reduce muscle inflammation and muscle spasms.

There are many forms through which passive physical therapy can be applied:

  • Hot and Cold Therapy. This is one of the most commonly used types of therapy. Depending on the patient, the physiotherapist will use a heat pack or ice massage to reduce inflammation and ease pain in the lower back. This type of therapy is most effective early on in treatment.
  • This type of therapy involves applying steroids through the skin with an electrical current. This is a fast acting, effective method to reduce the inflammation and acute pain in the lower back.
  • TENS Units. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators uses a low voltage electric current to help reduce the sensation of pain in the lower back.
  • Ultrasound. This system uses energy and heat to reduce pain and speed healing in the lower back muscles.

Active Physical Therapy

This type of physiotherapy involves active participation from the patient to help strengthen and rehabilitate the spine. Active physiotherapy comprises many exercises:

  • General stretching is a great way to reduce pain for patients suffering from chronic lower back pain. For stretching to be effective, it’s important to stretch all areas of the body—not just the back. Hamstring and glute stretches are usually recommended.
  • Muscle Strengthening. A weak back and core might be the reason for your acute or chronic lower back pain. Dynamic lumbar stabilization or other exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist will ensure your back is healing properly.
  • Aerobic Conditioning. For reduction of pain in the long term, physiotherapists may engage patients in low-impact aerobic conditioning like water therapy or cycling.

At some point in life, most of us will experience a certain level of back pain. To keep a healthy spine, it’s important to stay active and stretch often, ensuring a strong, healthy spine.

Call 011-39589169 today to discuss your physical therapy needs.

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Cervical Spondylosis & How Physiotherapy Can Help

Cervical spondylosis is a condition of the bones, discs and vertebrae in the neck. This condition is common in people above 50 years of age. It is generally caused due to wear and tear of the discs with aging which lose their fluid and become stiffer. It is the most common cause of neck pain in elderly people.

What are the causes of Cervical Spondylosis?

The main cause of this condition is aging. As a person age, there is a lot of wear and tear that happen to the bones, muscles and cartilages in the body. In the neck, the vertebrae dics become less elastic and provide less cushion and support. The bones and ligaments get thicker and put pressure on the spinal canal.

Other factors could be a previous injury to the neck or poor posture. Poor posture plus aging is the biggest contributor to this condition.

Being overweight and leading an inactive lifestyle also are a factor to this condition.

Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis:

Generally there are no significant symptoms in this condition. They can develop gradually or occur suddenly. Some of the symptoms are-

  • Neck pain and stiffness. The pain might increase while standing, sitting, sneezing, coughing
  • Headache generally in the back of the head
  • Numbness and pain in the shoulder and arms
  • Inability to fully turn the head or neck
  • Grinding noise is sometimes felt while moving the neck

Cervical spondylosis is generally most severe in the mornings. It does improve with rest but flares up again at night.

How can Physiotherapy help?

If you are suffering from Cervical pain, you should get in touch with your physiotherapist immediately. Physiotherapy can not only help relieve the pain but also ensure prevent its recurrence. Normally when a patient suffering from the condition walks into my clinic, we begin with assessing how severe the condition is and what is the range of motion of the neck. Our treatment involves the following processes-

  • Relief from pain
  • Support to the neck
  • Restore full range of motion of the neck
  • Posture correction
  • Strengthen neck muscles
  • Preventing future recurrence

If you are suffering from neck pain and have the above symptoms, please feel free to make an appointment with us and let our team of experienced Physiotherapists take a look at you. The key to quick recovery from Cervical Spondylosis is early diagnosis.

You can call us at 011-39589169 or visit our website .

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