Physiotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis
The disease Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and painful condition that results in progressive joint damage, disability, deterioration in the quality of life, and shortened life expectancy. It is an autoimmune disease. This means the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
Rheumatoid arthritis Causes
The specific cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown; however, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immunity system starts attacking the healthy body tissues. Other factors for the cause of this disease are:
Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis
- There are several Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms:
- Swelling, aching, stiffness, or pain of one or more joints
- Morning stiffness which lasts for at least 30 minutes and often for several hours
- Difficulty grasping the objects as firmly as you used to
- Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the small joints of the feet, fingers, and wrists, but it may also affect other joints, including the knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and hips.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is not osteoarthritis (OA), a more common condition that generally occurs with older age. It is possible, though, to have both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis together.
Rheumatoid arthritis Physical Therapy
The objective of physiotherapy in patients with RA is to prevent disability, increase functional capacity, provide pain relief, and provide patient education.
Prior to the therapy, the physiotherapy needs of patients are determined by their incapacity, disability, and handicaps.
Physiotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis includes:
Cold and Hot Applications
Cold/hot applications are the most commonly used physical agents in the treatment of arthritis. It is well known that cold application is mostly used in acute stages, whereas hot is used in Rheumatoid arthritis chronic stages.
Using heat, analgesia is accomplished, muscle spasms relieved, and elasticity of periarticular structures obtained. For maximum benefit, use heat before exercise.
The method of Electrostimulation is used in patients with RA to relieve pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (also known as TENS) therapy is the most commonly used method. According to the study published in the National Library of Medicine, Various studies have reported an increase in hand grip strength after daily application of 15 minutes of TENS and a decrease in pain after using TENS once a week for 3 weeks.
According to the study published in “National Library of Medicine,” there has been widespread use of balneotherapy by patients with rheumatic diseases since the old times in search of a cure for their ailment. The word “balneotherapy” was initially used to discriminate between thermal and mineral water therapy from hydrotherapy.
In recent years, balneotherapy has served as one of the therapeutic alternatives in other rheumatoid diseases, particularly in chronic degenerative diseases. The objectives of balneotherapy are to increase ROM, strengthen muscles, relieve painful muscle spasms, and improve the patient’s well-being.
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- On September 12, 2022
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