What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis. It is led by physiotherapists, who are part of a team of health professionals who help you resume or maintain an active and independent life at home and at work. They are experts at evaluating movement and will show you how to protect your joints. Your physiotherapist is ready:
- Give advice and reassurance
- Helps you feel safe in handling your situation
- Resolve any concerns or uncertainties
- Set appropriate goals to stay as active as possible
Specialized physiotherapists are trained to diagnose and treat joint and muscle problems, and your general physician may refer you to a specialized physiotherapist rather than a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon.
Your physiotherapist will begin by asking you questions and examining your sore joints. This evaluation allows treatment to be tailored to your needs. Treatment may include:
- A specific exercise program.
- General tips for increasing your activity level and preventing exercise-related injuries.
- Heat or ice packs, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines, pain relievers such as massage, manipulation, acupuncture, or tapping.
- Provides walking aids or splints to help you stay mobile and independent.
Types of therapeutic exercises
Exercise-safety and environment: Each exercise should be done in the presence of a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist completes an examination form with a detailed history of the patient. In general, patients are not used to physical activity and this can lead to injury. There are medications that can affect the balance and coordination of the patient. Therefore, these patients must be very careful when exercising.
Exercises for elderly patients or cardiac patients must be carefully planned. Always do the exercises in a protected environment. There should be bars or walls and there should be a physical therapist or a family member around elderly patients or patients with balance problems. Exercise equipment must be well maintained. They must be in good working order. The patient should be aware of her signs of fatigue. If the patient feels any discomfort during exercise, he should inform his physiotherapist. They need to be informed about the risks before exercising. Let them know the importance of rest after exercise. Exercise repetitions should be performed accordingly. Increase gradually.
What exercises should you choose:
- Range of motion exercise: These exercises are done to increase the range of motion of the joints. These help keep the joints moving. There is a various self-supporting range of motion aids that can help increase range such as decks, wand, T-bar, skateboard, powder board, finger ladder, wall climbing, and the ball rolling.
- Stretching exercises: These are done to keep the body flexible. Stretching exercises are performed for all joints.
- Heating step: Start with warm-up exercises before doing heavy exercise. The purpose of the warm-up phase is to reduce the risk of injury by increasing muscle temperature. Help prevent arrhythmias in cardiac patients while exercising. This phase usually lasts 10-15 minutes. Go for a slow walk. The heart rate should be up to 20 beats/min.
- Aerobic exercise: This is the conditioning part of the exercise program. This is the stage where the level of exercise increases. It must be at a tolerance level. It shouldn’t be that difficult as it causes clinical symptoms. Some exercises for aerobic stages:
- Continuous exercise: In this type of training, the exercise routine is maintained continuously. In a healthy person, continuous training is an effective way to improve endurance.
- Leisure exercise: In this type of training, exercise is followed by a break. In a healthy person, interval training improves strength and power.
- Circuit training: This is a group of exercises that you do without interruption. It is a set of exercises, which are performed one after another and the last exercise is performed after the first exercise. It is an effective method of enhancing people’s strength and power.
- Cooling step: This is necessary to increase the recovery period and prevent myocardial ischemia, arrhythmia, or other cardiovascular problems. The duration should be 5 to 10 minutes.
- Balanced exercise: To maintain body balance. This will help prevent falls. These include: standing with your eyes closed, standing with narrow support, standing on one leg, standing with your eyes closed on one leg, and exercises with a movement board with the help of a physical therapist. Other exercises like joining the tip of the toe and the heel.
- Water exercises: Exercises performed in swimming pools. They facilitate a series of movements, strengthen, stimulate stretching and relaxation. This reduces the risk of injury. Some water devices such as collars, belts, rings, floating belts, swim bars, swim boards, and hand paddles can also be used.
- Strengthening exercises: Strength training exercises are used to strengthen muscles. Resistance bands, weights, thera bands, and tubes help with this.
- Breathing exercises: Try to stay in a comfortable position. Then inhale through your nose and inhale the hale through your mouth like a candle.
- Relaxation exercises: Deep breathing exercises, meditation, pranayama, tai chi, and various other exercises can help the body and mind relax.
How can manual therapy help me?
When it comes to seeing a physiotherapist, you may be concerned about what will happen during your physiotherapy session. You may even wonder why and what the therapist is doing. Typically, physiotherapists use the following therapies and prepare them to meet your needs.
Manual therapy: Manual therapy involves a variety of interventional techniques, from soft tissue mobilization to joint manipulations. It can relieve pain, improve range of motion, and improve performance.
Soft tissue mobilization: Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to affect soft tissues during physiotherapy. Common techniques used by our therapists are deep friction techniques, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy. They help break down scar tissue, enhance soft tissue proliferation, improve circulation, and promote drainage.
Joint equation: The most common physical therapy techniques are Mytland and Mulligan. Passive mechanical pressure of varying degrees is specified at a given joint. It promotes a certain movement in a certain direction. The movement aims to correct joint mechanics and/or joint position defects. It also stimulates the mechanoreceptors that help reduce pain. Due to their knowledge of joint kinematics, physical therapists can perform small movements in the joints with a great impact on the overall range of motion.
Joint manipulation: The production of an audible “click” or a “popping” sound is often associated with joint manipulation. This noise is believed to be the result of a phenomenon called cavitation that occurs in the synovial fluid of the joint. This refers to the rapid release of gases trapped in a high-pressure environment similar to uncorking champagne.
The Maitland technique classifies this maneuver as a high-speed, low amplitude movement. The technique is also found in traditional hair salons, Thai massages, and chiropractors. Provides good short-term relief. There can also be rare complications from this technique, especially in the upper cervical spine.
The rapid rotational movement of the neck is able to cut the artery that supplies blood to the brain. Therefore, this technique is performed by an experienced and qualified physiotherapist with a pre-assessment of the client. This is to ensure the safe, effective, and proper application of the technique.
How does physiotherapy help?
A physiotherapist can help you understand what happens to your joints and muscles when you have arthritis. Understanding your arthritis can help you manage its effects.
Managing your pain: Arthritis can cause more widespread joint and muscle pain in a specific part of the body. Medicines can help, but your physiotherapist can tell you about other pain relief methods that work with your medicines. You can continue some of these treatments between appointments:
- Ice packs can be used to soothe hot, inflamed joints.
- Hot compresses help relax tense and tired muscles.
- Helps with inflammation or rupture of painful joints, for example, during inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. Your physical or occupational therapist (OT) can provide temporary fractures.
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) works by blocking pain messages in your brain and altering your perception of pain. The TENS machine is a small electronic device that sends pulses to nerve endings through pads that are placed on the skin. It causes a tingling sensation that comforts you.
Speed up yourself: Your physiotherapist can advise you on how to raise your activity level to a pace you can cope with and find the right balance between rest and activity. Do not overdo it with planning your activities, it will allow you to enjoy the things you want to do.
Get regular graded exercise: The gradual exercise begins slowly and increases in small steps. Helps you strengthen your muscles and joints and improve your fitness. Improving your overall fitness and endurance can help you increase your activity level without increasing your pain. Exercising regularly also stimulates the production of hormones (endorphins) that reduce your body’s natural pain.
Your physiotherapist can offer other treatments, including:
- The massage relaxes the muscles and makes the movement of the joints more comfortable.
- Acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce endorphins. Some physiotherapists are trained to administer acupuncture.
- Electrotherapy using techniques such as ultrasound and low-level laser therapy can help stimulate the healing process and thereby reduce pain.
- Manipulation can help improve the range of motion in your joint. It is not suitable for all
- Patients, but your physical therapist can advise if it is helpful.
When physiotherapy treatment doesn’t work?
We often hear from patients who have often tried physiotherapy and sought treatment after an injury because they found it did not work. You are not willing to spend time and money on future treatments. Although there are never any guarantees in health care, we have highlighted some of the reasons why your treatment may not work in the past and why you should try this treatment again.
- You can’t stick to your exercise program:
With our busy modern life, it is very difficult to find time to make an appointment with your physical therapist, take the time to complete the exercises they suggest. The tasks that your therapist prescribes for you at home are much more important than the time of treatment and, for the most part, are directed to your personal circumstances. You are doing your exercises correctly and quite often other factors will see to it that you do not improve at all.
- You have not been able to continue physiotherapy for a long time:
Very occasionally, an issue can be resolved in 1-2 visits, and most changes require at least 5-6 visits for a significant change. Chronic pain and injuries take much longer to take effect. There are many reasons for not returning for treatment, but it is one of the most common causes of physiotherapy failure, which is not enough to succeed. It is important to discuss with your physical therapist at the beginning of treatment how much time is needed for a complete and effective treatment program. Once
Once pain and symptoms have resolved, it is also important to complete a full rehabilitation to prevent future injury.
- Your injury may require medical or surgical intervention:
The lesions are low in percentage and require a more intensive intervention to fully heal. It is often recommended to try physiotherapy before trying other invasive treatments. Your physiotherapist and your medical team often work together to evaluate your injury and determine the best course of treatment.
- Your physical therapist is not the right one:
Although all physiotherapists are trained to excellent standards, you may occasionally find that one therapist’s style of treatment works better for you than another. It is worth working with a new therapist before giving up the idea of physical therapy entirely. Physiotherapists from the same clinic are often happy to collaborate and provide new perspectives.
Our physiotherapists will be delighted if you have any problems regarding your treatment, including previous treatments. None of the information in this article is a substitute for proper medical advice. Always consult a medical professional for advice on your personal injury.