Acute arthritis and rehabilitation: Treatment, therapy and management
12th Oct 2020
Prolonged acute arthritis poses the risk of reduced flexibility, muscle atrophy and decreased muscle strength. It is also associated with cardiovascular endurance. Treating and managing arthritis with the help of rehabilitation experts makes it imperative in reducing these risk factors while avoiding any functional compromises.
Rehabilitation that is coming from the qualified experts always helps families that are on the lookout for better care coupled with a multifactorial rehabilitation approach. Stay around as we take you through the best ways to treating and managing acute arthritis with the help of rehabilitation.
First things first
The consultation with the best rehabilitation specialists and availing therapy for acute arthritis helps the individual to safely do their daily living activities, exercise, and develop an overall sense of wellbeing. Rehabilitation for arthritis is a long process and it requires the individual to prepare physically and mentally.
Resting the inflamed joints for sufficient time shows significant improvement in the way the person feels. But it can hinder in other ways including changed range of motion, strength, and the joint-loading response. However, finding the activities that are causing the inflammation, modifying them, and managing gives better outcomes.
What are the goals of rehabilitation therapy?
The predefined goals indicate whether the treatment is in progressive or regressive order. These are the typical goals for arthritis therapy.
- Focusing on reducing the symptoms, improve mobility and treating the affected joints
- Prevent the loss of strength, motion range and maintaining fitness as a whole
- Energy conservation methods to perform the daily living activities
Let’s take a look into the rehabilitation program for acute arthritis
Followed by the thorough evaluation the rehabilitation doctor lays down a road map for recovery. It describes the joints that are inflamed and joints that are intact. The structured exercise program includes active and active-assisted exercise programs with slight changes in lifestyle and diet, if the need be.
- Stretching and strengthening - Formation of contractures in the joints restricts the motion and the stretching and strengthening exercises prevent this formation. Minding that the activity in the inflamed joints can lead to exacerbation of the symptoms, the rehabilitation specialists only focus on the joints that are in good condition. Exercises performed on reducing the contatures are helpful in carrying out the daily activities.
- Conditioning activities -Body has a tendency to adjust itself in the event of a health condition and it is the same in arthritis. In fact the impact of skeletal condition is vigorous. The deconditioning activities such as aerobic condition, aquatic exercising are proven to be effective without causing deleterious effects on the ongoing condition. Aquatic exercising programs are superiorly impactful as they reduce force coming onto the joints. Performing these exercises in heated pools is even better as the heat reduces pain and muscle spasms.
- Usage of various modalities - Using modalities facilitates restoration of functionality and mobility of the arthritis affected joints. Besides the therapeutic exercises and manual therapies, the rehabilitation therapists use wide-varieties of modality therapies and equipment. A few of the modality methods are given below.
- Cold and hot therapy: These are the two most commonly used physical agents in arthritis treatment. Cold therapies are for acute arthritis and heat therapy is for chronic. These thermo therapies are applied as a paraffin, fluidotherapy, or as a hot or cold pack.
- Electrical stimulation: Medically known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is another widely used therapy. It relieves pain and increases the grip of hands.
- Orthosis - As mentioned about conditioning of the body earlier, arthritis can cause mild to severe structural changes in the joints. Orthosis is used to reduce the deformities triggered by arthritis. However, this therapy requires careful evaluation of the current condition by the expert, considering the challenges involved.
Apart from the therapies the specialist might suggest few lifestyle changes. Being overweight, certain food choices, and lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption will also play a major role in reducing the therapy outcome.
Book an appointment with your orthopedic rehabilitation specialist today or you can also avail these therapies staying at your home for better management of arthritis.