Four Ways Your Physio Can Help With Arthritis

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis fifteen years ago, and I have had several flare-ups flanked by periods of remission during that time. I'm pleased to say a number of new drug treatments have become available since I was diagnosed, but I've always been keen to explore alternative treatments, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, homeopathy and massage, as a way of complementing my medical treatment. I started this blog to document the alternative treatments I've tried and share information about current research into drug-free treatments for managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you've tried an alternative treatment that's eased your symptoms, I'd love to share your experiences on the blog.

Four Ways Your Physio Can Help With Arthritis

18 November 2022
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

Arthritis is a painful condition that can make it difficult to do everyday activities. Arthritis can affect your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

If you're suffering from arthritis, or are at risk of developing it, your physiotherapist can help you reduce the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Here are four ways your physio can help with arthritis:

1. Your Physio Can Explain How Arthritis Affects Your Body

There are different types of arthritis—some more common than others—but all affect the same way: they cause swelling and stiffness in the joints, which can make movement painful. Arthritis is a general term for different diseases that cause pain and inflammation in the joints. The most common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia.

2. Your Physio Can Discuss Treatment Options With You

Physiotherapists can help patients with many different types of arthritis by recommending exercises and treatments that will reduce pain and improve mobility.

Exercises that focus on strengthening specific muscles around the affected joints—helping them work more efficiently and reducing strain on other joints in the body.

Pain treatments such as cortisol injections and joint injections—are often used to manage chronic pain and are an effective way of reducing inflammation in the body. Massage therapy—this can help to reduce muscle stiffness, increase blood flow and improve range of motion.

3. Your Physio Can Give You Exercises That Help With Arthritis 

Your physiotherapist may give you exercises that focus on stretching specific muscles around the affected joints—helping them work more efficiently and reducing strain on other joints in the body. These may include hydrotherapy (pool exercise) to encourage blood flow, which can improve joint pain and reduce stiffness. 

4. Your Physio Can Give You A Massage To Reduce Pain And Stiffness 

Massage can help to reduce pain, stiffness and inflammation associated with arthritis. Your physiotherapist can use massage techniques such as effleurage (long strokes), petrissage (kneading) or tapotement (percussive tapping) to loosen muscle tissue around affected joints so that blood flow increases to those areas. This can help to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. Massage is most effective when it's used regularly, in combination with other treatments such as heat or cold therapy.

If you have arthritis, you know that it can make even simple tasks difficult. From getting out of bed in the morning to doing the laundry, and from cooking dinner to walking the dog, there are many things you might not be able to do anymore. Chat with a physiotherapist to learn whether massage could help you. It might not be able to cure your arthritis, but it can definitely ease some of the symptoms. 

For more information about physiotherapy, contact a local company.