Arthritis refers to joint inflammation that often accompanies pain and stiffness. It limits the motion of the affected area. Arthritis treatment may begin at home with different home based remedies or you may choose to go to a doctor who would prescribe some medicines to you for relief.
Many times, different occupational therapies are also recommended to people with arthritis. This helps to understand different ways through which you can minimize straining your joints while doing daily chores. This may include ways to modify the home or work environment to reduce motion, which is often one of the most important causes of aggravated arthritis pain.
Benefits of Using Occupational Therapy for Arthritis Treatment
Occupational therapy plays a very significant role in helping you to manage various symptoms of arthritis. It includes educating on different aspects of how to improve the arthritis condition in daily life with or without the help of any assistive equipment. It also teaches how to restore the normal muscle strength and modify different activities that can relieve you from arthritis related discomfort. Occupational therapy may also include different exercises that can help restore your joint mobility and flexibility.
Different Ways to Use Occupational Therapy for Treating Arthritis
Exercise plays a very effective role in treating arthritis. The occupational therapist will chalk out the daily exercise regime plan for you. This exercise plan may change over a period of time with the changing needs of your arthritis condition.
Some of the important exercises that occupational therapists may train you to perform everyday include the exercise of range of motion, muscle strengthening exercise and water based exercises. The range of motion exercise helps improve the movement of the joints, free the muscle or joint stiffness and enhance the flexibility. The muscle strengthening exercise aims at increasing strength of your muscles. Water based exercises help relieve the pain and relaxes the body muscles.
Applying Thermal Modalities
Take an ice pack or heating pad and apply it on the affected area. Make sure that you can bear the heat or the cold used for relieving the pain. The heat pad relaxes the muscle spasms, which reduces the constant dull pain of the joints. You can also take a warm shower before you begin exercising, as it helps you exercise with ease.
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Understanding the Pre and Post Operative Therapies for Surgery Patients
There are different occupational therapy programs that are given to patients before and after the joint surgery. The doctor may suggest you to go for a pre or post operative occupational therapies or for both based on the needs of the arthritis symptoms.
You may begin to take preoperative program for understanding different exercises and other aspects before the surgery at home or at the outpatient department. After the operation, the changed or modified therapies may be given to you so that it fits your new arthritis needs.
Using Assistive Devices
Your occupational therapy expert may suggest you to use certain assistive devices to reduce the stress on the joints. The occupational therapists usually have a catalog that includes different assistive devices meant for different needs and they suggest their patients according to their specific needs. Some of the assistive devices include a bath stool while taking shower and long handled sock grippers or shoehorns.