Or call us on 01235 821800 to find out how we can help treat your arthritis.
At Progressive Physiotherapy we treat all types of arthritis. If you say ‘arthritis’ most people assume you’re talking about wear and tear on the joints, which many older people have. That is Osteoarthritis. But there are other, inflammatory types of arthritis that can affect any age such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Psoriatic Arthritis.
A Physiotherapist can help you to understand what happens to your joints and muscles when you have arthritis. Understanding your arthritis will help you to manage its effects.
Arthritis can cause pain in one particular part of the body or more widespread joint and muscle pain. Medications will help but a physiotherapist can tell you about other methods of pain relief that work alongside your medications. You will be able to continue with some of these treatments yourself between appointments:
Treatments we offer
Overdoing things can increase your pain, but so can not doing enough. Your physiotherapist can advise you on increasing your activity level at a rate you can cope with and on finding the right balance between rest and activity. Planning your activities so that you don’t overdo it will let you to enjoy the things you want to do.
Graded exercise starts slowly and increases in small steps. This will help you to strengthen your muscles and joints and increase your fitness. Improving your general fitness and stamina will help you to increase your activity level without increasing your pain. Regular exercise will also stimulate production of your body’s own natural pain-relieving hormones (endorphins).
Keeping active is very important when you have arthritis. Many people are afraid that exercise will increase their pain or cause further damage to their joints, but your joints are designed to move and the muscles and tissues around them become weaker if they’re not used. This can cause your joint to become unstable and may reduce your mobility and independence. Exercise can increase your general fitness, help you to lose weight or keep to a healthy weight, improve your general mobility and make you feel more self-confident.
The important thing is to find a form of exercise you enjoy so you do it regularly. Think about this and discuss it with your physiotherapist – they can help you plan a programme if you’re new to exercise and advise on any special equipment or training that you’ll need to get started.
It’s important to start gently, pace yourself and gradually increase your activity. You may have a slight increase in pain when you first start, but this should improve as your confidence and strength increase.
Mobilising, stretching and strengthening
Arthritis can cause joint stiffness and muscle weakness, and this can affect your day-to-day activities. Your physiotherapist will assess your muscle strength and the range of movement in your joints, and advise on techniques and exercises so you can keep your joints working as well as possible.
We have access to a hydrotherapy pool where you can perform exercises in warm water. Many people find it easier to move in water – the warmth is soothing and the water supports your weight so that you can move your joints and muscles without straining them.
Where can I get more information?
The above information is taken from www.arthritisresearchuk.org and www.nras.org.uk
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy can offer further information about how physiotherapy can help you if you have arthritis.