Keeping your joints healthy is one of the best ways to tackle your shoulder rheumatoid arthritis. And what could be the better approach to keep the joints healthy than exercising. Physical therapy specifically designed to address the inflation affected muscles and joints by shoulder rheumatoid arthritis helps to strengthen your shoulder joints.
Most of these exercises can be done without any tool and assistance. We have a step by step guide to physical therapy for shoulder RA that will help you understand the whole process and its benefits.
Physical Therapy for Shoulder Rheumatoid Arthritis
Identifying your Condition
In your b will study your case and determine what kind of exercises would be right for you depending on the severity of your RA. People who are in early stage of shoulder RA may be advised to do stretching, light weight lifting, aerobics and other exercises to power their weaken muscles and joints.
While people with severe cases of RA might be advised simple stretching exercises that would help to strengthen the diseased joints without further damaging them.
Time Frame for Exercise
Setting a time limit for exercising is really vital for people with shoulder RA. According to your situation your physical therapist will design the right set of exercises and to be performed for 5-30 minutes. Keep in mind that these exercises stretch and flex your RA muscles to make them strong.
But if you perform these exercises for longer time than advised it can have negative effect on your joints. Over worked muscles will become sore and painful and swelling or redness may occur on affected areas.
This physical therapy might be the most under rated treatment but it doesn’t mean it is any less effective. Shoulder rheumatoid arthritis weakens the muscles of shoulders and lower neck. Massaging these sore muscles with an anti inflammatory oil or liniment helps to relax and strengthen them.
Slow and integrated massage may calm and revitalize the nerves attached with RA affected joints and help to elevate the pain. Overall regular sessions with a certified massage therapist can be very useful to manage shoulder RA pain, stiffness and tenderness.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Another widely used form of physical therapy is the hot or cold therapy. Heat transformation can provide relief in soreness and bruising caused by inflammation. As per the requirement heating packs can be applied on stiff and weaken muscles and joints to gain mobility and reduce pain. Hot patches can be applied on tender areas to reduce pain caused by inflammation.
Industrial heat transformation techniques are also available which have been proven very effective to treat the weaken joints. Remember to follow the instruction properly before applying the heat pack though as over use can cause skin bruising and other problems. Always take at least 15-30 minutes of break between the applications.
Alternative cold therapies are used to sooth the exhausted joints and muscles. Applying ice packs on swollen joints can relax the muscle and numb the painful area. Ice packs are mostly useful after a round of exercise or workload. But one should take precautions while using the ice pack as its direct contact with skin can cause skin damage. Reapplication of cold patches might be required to keep the pain away. However, both of the cold and hot treatments can provide timely relief they fail to offer long term solution for RA.
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