The disorder commonly affecting the knee and other joints is called as Arthritis.
We commonly see our mothers or grandmothers groaning in pain when they try to do simple activities like getting up from the floor or climbing steps. Daily simple chores seem very difficult for them. They dread even the pleasant rains and winters as they are likely to experience increase in their aches and pains with the fall in temperature.
Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints. It is common in adults 65 and older, but it can affect people of all ages. There are many types of arthritis but most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis : It is an autoimmune disease in which the body immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses the joint parts known as synovial membrane. It is characterized by fluctuating course, with periods of flares and remission.
2. Osteoarthritis : It is a chronic degenerative disorder involves wear and tear damage to the joint’s cartilage. Enough damage results in bone grinding which causes pain and restricted movement and joint effusion.
Symptoms of Arthritis
The most common symptoms of Arthritis include pain, redness in the area, swelling, limited movement & stiffness in the joint.
Unpaid attention to these symptoms can lead you to be under the surgeon’s knife. But timely attention to the soft ringing of bells of your joints can help you deal effectively with your joint pain.
Physiotherapy is key to the treatment and management of arthritis. It can help you to maintain independence through improving your mobility, strength and flexibility.
Used along with medication it can also help to minimise pain.
Physiotherapy for arthritis focuses on the reduction of pain and stiffness as well as increasing the level of movement and range of motion for the individual.
Our experts at ReLivaTM use a combination of modalities, manual therapy techniques and exercise and movement programmes to suit your specific condition. They will aim to reduce the swelling in the affected area along with making a strategy to control pain and stiffness. They will also devise simple exercise programmes that you can practise at home to help you build your strength and flexibility.
Physiotherapy uses a mix of Modalities
- Heat treatments : These treatments produce heat within your body tissues. The application can be directed towards superficial or deeper parts of the body. The most common types of treatment used are infra-red radiation (heat lamps) and hot packs for superficial treatments.
- Electrotherapy : These treatments produce electrical stimulation of your body tissues. They may be extremely useful in the treatment of both acute and chronic arthritis, where pain, swelling and muscle spasms are present.
- Exercise : A balanced programme of rest and exercise, and careful attention to joint posture is an important part of pain management, joint protection and maintenance of your joint function.
- Manual therapy: Mobilisation and manipulation techniques are passive movements applied to a joint or soft tissue by the therapist in a specific manner to help restore full movement to a joint that is painful and restricted. Manual therapy is often useful in the chronic forms of arthritis and is often successful when other methods such as heat therapy and exercises have given little or no relief.
- TENS : Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy is a commonly used electrostimulation method for relieving pain in rheumatoid arthritis.
Simple Tips to help avoid pain and stiffness:
- Avoid staying in one position for long.
- Avoid positions or movements that place extra stress on sore joints.
- Avoid sitting on floor.
- Modify your activities to make them easier.
- Take proper rest when your symptoms are on a rise.
- Try to lose weight if over-weight, as it reduces pressure on joints and alleviates pain.