Osteoarthritis (typically called ‘wear and tear’ of the joints) is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, sometimes making it difficult to perform simple daily activities. Osteoarthritis typically develops in the older population; however, it can also occur as a result of previous trauma to the joint (e.g. ligament injury or fracture). Other factors such as obesity, gender (female), rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can also increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. Areas typically affected by osteoarthritis are the hands, knees, hips and spine.
While there is no cure for arthritis, physiotherapy can help you manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Whether you want to be able to do normal daily tasks with less pain, chase the grandchildren around the park, or be able to get on the golf course or tennis court with your friends, physiotherapy can help.
Here are some of the benefits of physiotherapy for arthritis:
1.) Pain Management
Physiotherapy can help alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. Physiotherapists use various techniques such as manual therapy, heat or ice therapy, and electrotherapy to reduce pain and inflammation.
2.) Improve Mobility & Flexibility
Arthritis can limit movement and flexibility in the joints, making it difficult to perform daily activities. Physiotherapy can help improve joint mobility and flexibility through exercise and stretching. This can improve range of motion and reduce stiffness.
3.) Strengthen Muscles
Physiotherapy can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints. This can help reduce the strain on the joints and improve joint stability, making it easier to perform daily activities.
4.) Improve Balance & Coordination
Arthritis can increase the risk of falls due to reduced balance and coordination. Physiotherapy can help improve balance and coordination through exercises and activities that focus on these areas. This can reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
5.) Education and self-management
Physiotherapists can provide education and guidance on how to manage arthritis symptoms at home. This may include advice on exercises, stretching, and lifestyle modifications that can help reduce pain and improve function.
6.) Weight management
Excess weight can put additional stress on the joints, exacerbating arthritis symptoms. Physiotherapy can help with weight management through exercise and education on healthy eating habits. This can help reduce the strain on the joints and improve overall health.
7.) Adaptation and modification
Physiotherapists can help individuals with arthritis adapt and modify their daily activities to reduce pain and improve function. This may include the use of assistive devices or modifications to the home environment to make daily tasks easier to perform.
If you are living with arthritis, don't suffer needlessly. Don't miss out on life when some simple, easy to implement advice from a physiotherapist can help you take control of your arthritis and live your best life.
Our expert physiotherapists at Chiltern Physiotherapy are here to help. Call 01923 283845 or book online to help you get out of pain FAST!