You Can Manage Arthritis With Occupational Therapy!

You Can Manage Arthritis With Occupational Therapy!

You Can Manage Arthritis With Occupational Therapy!

Are you suffering from debilitating arthritis pain that is preventing you from enjoying your life? You are not alone. As of 2022, nearly a quarter of all American adults have arthritis.

If the pain from chronic arthritis becomes too severe, patients will begin to restrict their movements. Seeing an occupational therapist regularly to help and (speed up the healing process can improve the physical health of the joints while also reducing pain and inflammation!

Occupational therapy can help a patient’s overall outlook on life and give them the tools they need to reclaim their life and start living again. If you’re having trouble managing your arthritis pain at home, contact Progressive Rehabilitation Associates in North Liberty, IO today to schedule an appointment with a skilled occupational therapist!

The three most common types of arthritis

The term “arthritis” refers to a group of painful joint conditions. Some people develop it as a result of a bacterial joint infection, while others develop painful gout in a toe joint. However, the vast majority of arthritis patients suffer from one of three painful conditions:

Osteoarthritis – The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is usually the result of a lifetime of joint motion combined with specific changes that occur as people age. According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis affects an estimated 30.8 million adults in the United States.

A healthy joint has a layer of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber, anti-friction component, and lubricant to keep the bone ends moving smoothly. The production of this lubricating fluid may eventually dry up, causing the cartilage to become thinner and more worn until it completely breaks down. This causes joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, which usually worsens when you move or put weight on it.

Rheumatoid arthritis – An auto-immune disease or malfunction is to blame for this condition. The same defense mechanisms that normally combat disease germs decide to attack and treat your joints as the enemy. This results in severe inflammation that comes and goes, causing joint swelling and deformity.

Metabolic Arthritis- Gout is the most common type of metabolic arthritis, a condition caused by uric acid crystals accumulating in the joints of the extremities, particularly the feet. This is usually due to impaired kidney function. Occupational therapy can help gout patients regain range of motion in the affected area and even reduce the accumulation of acidic crystals in the joints.

Many arthritis patients turn to medication to relieve their symptoms. NSAIDs, steroids, and (in the most severe cases) opiate medications can all provide temporary relief. These medications, however, cannot solve the medical problems that are causing your symptoms; they can only mask them. Occupational therapy is a far safer and healthier way of dealing with arthritis pain.

Arthritis pain and occupational therapy

An occupational therapist will design a therapeutic exercise program that is tailored to your physical abilities. You will be allowed to regain your strength and range of motion. OT treatment will gradually restore your flexibility while also restoring blood flow to the affected area. Pain and inflammation will eventually subside as blood flow increases.

Using occupational therapy to manage pain is a strategy that improves your health without exposing you to the risks associated with drugs. Our occupational therapists can assess your joints to determine the severity of your arthritis and how it affects your stance, gait, and mobility. Following that, you’ll be given an individualized pain management plan, which may include modalities like:

  • Corrective devices – Your therapist can recommend specialized insoles and train you to use devices such as walkers or canes.
  • Lifestyle guidance – Your therapist can suggest specific modifications to your daily ergonomics or lifestyle to help you feel better.
  • Exercise – Exercise can aid people living with arthritis by boosting circulation, easing inflammation, strengthening joint tissues, and increasing range of motion. It can also assist you in improving your balance if it has become an issue for you.

How can I benefit from occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy has many advantages that go beyond just relieving arthritis pain. It allows the person to become more active while improving range of motion and flexibility. Increased physical activity will improve their mood and outlook on life! The more movement and exercise they can do, the stronger they will become. Active people with arthritis are less likely to suffer from severe chronic pain.

Occupational therapy strengthens the entire body and increases blood flow to arthritic joints, reducing pain and inflammation. Simultaneously, therapy provides nutrients and oxygen to the joint, allowing it to heal and become more resistant to injury or damage. An occupational therapist can help restore physical health to joints with a thorough evaluation, allowing the individual to have a higher quality of life.

Make an appointment in North Liberty, IO today to find relief.

Don’t just mask your arthritis pain; find a natural, safe, and effective way to manage it. Contact our occupational therapy clinic today to get started on your personalized treatment plan and reclaim your life from pain!


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