Arthritis affects 4.5 million people across Canada – that’s about 1 out of every 6 people.
Essentially, arthritis is a chronic and painful condition that may begin to limit your daily activities and function. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is categorized as the breakdown of cartilage at a joint. This type of arthritis happens over time and through wear and tear. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is defined as an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s own immune system is attacking the tissues at a joint or multiple joints, causing inflammation and pain.
The good news? Physiotherapy can help reduce and manage your arthritic pain. In fact, being active is one of the best things you can do to relieve your symptoms. Let’s take a closer look!
Managing Your Arthritis Through Physiotherapy
Pain is your body’s way of telling you when something is wrong. And arthritic pain is no exception. Your body is letting you know what’s going on – or at least it’s trying to in the best way it knows how.
And while an arthritis diagnosis isn’t ideal, it is manageable. Physiotherapy incorporates an array of treatment options that work together to manage your pain and potentially, eliminate it. What do these treatment techniques entail?
When it comes to understanding your condition, education is step one. The more you know, the better equipped you are to prevent pain before it happens.
Through an assessment at PhysioExperts Physiotherapy Clinic in Kanata, your physiotherapist will help you understand what exactly is happening at your joint. They will perform various tests and measurements to determine where your limitations are and where improvements can be made.
Your physiotherapist will further prescribe exercises and provide you with the proper knowledge to help you limit the effects of your arthritis.
Your prescribed exercises will include appropriate stretches and strengthening movements for your unique situation. Stretches will aim to improve your flexibility and mobility at the affected joint or joints. Further, strengthening exercises work to strengthen the muscles and tissues around the affected joint. This helps support the joint, limiting pain and helping you move better.
Your physiotherapist will gradually increase your exercise load, helping you determine how much you can handle. By doing so, they also help you avoid adding too-much-too-soon, which could potentially lead to other problems or injuries.
In some situations, exercise programs may be recommended to be performed in-clinic. This ensures you are performing each exercise correctly.
3. Hot or Cold Therapy
Ice helps reduce pain and decrease inflammation. Heat, on the other hand, helps relax tense muscles and increases blood flow to the area. Your physiotherapist will often recommend one or the other. They may also go off of your own preference. Occasionally, they may prescribe a hot and cold bath which further helps improve circulation.
Hot or cold devices are applied for about 15-20 minutes. A cloth is placed in between the device and your skin to prevent any tissue damage. You may also choose to use hot or cold applications at home to help manage your arthritis pain.
Acupuncture is the insertion of small needles at specific acupuncture points to stimulate the body’s natural pain-relievers. At PhysioExperts Physiotherapy Clinic, we have various physiotherapists in kanata that are trained and experienced in acupuncture. Although it’s not used for all cases, it may help reduce pain in some individuals – especially those with arthritis.
5. Manual Therapy Techniques
At each appointment, your physiotherapist will perform physiotherapy techniques. These techniques may include massage, stretches, and manipulation.
Depending on the goal of your treatment, your specific manual therapy techniques may vary. Massage techniques may be used to relax the muscles and increase circulation. Manipulation techniques and stretches may also be used to improve range of motion.
6. TENS and IFC
If you’ve ever been to physiotherapy before, you may have heard these terms before. TENS stands for transcutaneous nerve stimulation. IFC stands for interferential current. These therapies help manage and eliminate pain. Essentially, they replace the pain signals at the affected area with a new tingling sensation. This temporary reduces the pain you feel at your affected joints. This therapy is frequently used at the end of your treatment session.
Start Your Journey Toward a Pain-Free Life Today!
Arthritis is an entirely manageable condition. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put a halt on the activities you know and love.
If you’re facing an arthritis diagnosis, contact our physiotherapy clinic in Kanata. At PhysioExperts, we involve you in every step of the way. Our team includes various physiotherapy experts and specialities. Our goal is to get you back to your life – without pain standing in your way. Let’s start moving you toward better health. Contact us to book your next appointment today!
PhysioExperts Physiotherapy Centre is a Kanata-based clinic providing one-on-one appointments with registered physiotherapists. Our team strives to deliver the highest quality of care. As such, we take our time to fully understand your situation, so that you can make a full and effective recovery. Our facility is always clean and includes free parking for your convenience. We are open early in the morning to late evening, with on-call options on Saturdays. For more information, check out our reviews.