Physical therapy is an essential part of managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Through exercises, stretching, mobilization techniques, and massage, physical therapists can help reduce inflammation and stiffness associated with this chronic condition. By restoring strength and flexibility in joints, they can improve the range of motion and quality of life.
With individualized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs and goals, physical therapy can be a powerful tool for managing the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Regardless of where in the body a patient is experiencing pain, at OAA our physical therapist takes a tailored approach to treating different parts of the body such as hand therapy. Patients who utilize physical therapy may experience relief from pain, improved mobility, and increased ability to participate in activities that are important to them.
At OAA Orthopedic Specialists, our highly trained doctors within our rheumatology institute help detect your rheumatoid arthritis and provide the best possible treatment for your condition. If you’re ready to take back control of your body, schedule your first appointment with our rheumatology institute or team of highly skilled physical therapists today!
Here is how physical therapy can help your rheumatoid arthritis: What Is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is a specialized field of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, autoimmune diseases, and rheumatoid diseases. Rheumatologists are medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing, treating, and caring for people with these conditions. The goal of rheumatology is to manage pain, improve mobility and increase the quality of life by providing treatments such as medications, physical therapy, or joint injections.
Rheumatologists may also suggest lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms or help manage chronic illnesses. Rheumatologists work closely with other medical professionals such as physical therapists, primary care physicians, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and other specialists for the best possible outcomes for their patients. At OAA’s rheumatology institute, our top rheumatologists favor a physician-led approach to properly diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases and conditions to provide you with an improved quality of life.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the synovial membranes of the joints, which can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. The disease often occurs in women and can start gradually or suddenly. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint pain, swelling, redness, stiffness, decreased range of motion, fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite.
Treatment usually involves medications such as corticosteroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), physical therapy exercises to improve flexibility and strength, lifestyle changes such as weight loss to reduce stress on affected joints, and surgery for severe cases. Living with rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging but there are resources available to help manage symptoms and there is hope for remission in many cases, such as physical therapy.
Physical Therapy For RA
Physical therapy is an important part of managing rheumatoid arthritis. It helps to maintain joint flexibility and strength, reduce pain and stiffness, improve range of motion and joint function, increase and maintain an optimal level of physical activity, minimize fatigue, improve sleeping patterns, avoid or manage complications such as joint deformity, and reduce psychological stress.
Physical therapists may use various modalities such as heat or cold therapies to treat pain and swelling. Therapeutic exercises are also used to improve posture, walking ability, balance, strength and coordination. Additionally, physical therapists can provide education on how to best manage arthritic symptoms at home.
What Does Physical Therapy For RA Entail?
Physical therapy for rheumatoid arthritis typically involves a combination of treatments, including a range of motion exercises, stretching, strengthening, and gait training. A physical therapist may also use heat or cold therapies to reduce pain and swelling. Therapeutic exercises are used to improve posture, walking ability, balance, and coordination.
Additionally, physical therapists can provide education on how to best manage arthritic symptoms at home and ways to structure an exercise program for a person's individual needs. Other practices such as joint protection strategies, energy conservation techniques, or other treatment options may also be incorporated into treatment plans for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
How Can Physical Therapy Benefit You
Physical therapy can be a tremendous benefit for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Regular physical therapy sessions can help to maintain joint flexibility and strength, reduce pain and stiffness, improve range of motion and joint function, increase and maintain an optimal level of physical activity, minimize fatigue, improve sleeping patterns, avoid or manage complications such as joint deformity caused by the condition, and reduce psychological stress.
Additionally, physical therapists are trained to educate patients on how their daily activities may contribute to their symptoms as well as design personalized exercise programs to strengthen weak muscles and stabilize painful joints. Finding a physical therapist as soon as rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed is important to decrease the risk of developing as well as further rheumatoid arthritis symptoms appearing. By working regularly with a physical therapist in addition to taking prescribed medications, individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis can not only reduce developing ra, but significantly reduce the impact the disease has on their quality of life.
If not treated properly, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to long-term joint damage and disability. As the disease progresses, joints may become deformed, and it may also affect other organs in your body such as the lungs and skin. Ignoring the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can also result in higher levels of disability and decreased quality of life due to ongoing pain and limited mobility. It is important to seek out treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis as soon as possible to slow down the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of further complications.
If you are struggling with rheumatoid arthritis or are interested in physical therapy, contact our specialists at OAA Orthopedic Specialists or schedule an appointment with our new rheumatology institute directly from our website today!