Characterised by symptoms like joint pain, stiffness and swelling arthritis is one of the most common conditions that’s found largely in older people across the globe. Found more in women than men, arthritis has more than 100 forms. It’s a health problem that affects the joints and makes it extremely difficult for a person to carry out their daily activities. It’s a condition that causes chronic pain in joints such as shoulders, knees, hips, and elbows etc.
Out of 100 different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms of this illness. They affect a large number of people across the world. Although arthritis is more common in people above the age of 65, it doesn’t mean children and adults are not affected by this condition. Yes, it affects the people of all ages but is slightly more common in older people.
Physical therapy is the most effective treatment for arthritis because it focuses on non-invasive techniques. Techniques like aquatic therapy show great results when it comes to subsiding arthritis pain.
According to Aquatic Occupational and Physical Therapy,”Aquatic therapy is a viable option for treating arthritic joints. The water helps to provide compression, which reduces swelling. In addition, the buoyancy of the water unloads the joint, allowing for greater range of motion without the weight of the body compressing joints together. ”
Symptoms and Causes of Osteoarthritis Arthritis
Though arthritis could stem from several different reasons, damaged cartilage remains its primary cause. For example, if you talk particularly about osteoarthritis or OA, it occurs because of cartilage damage. Cartilage is a strong and flexible tissue that protects joints by cushioning them. Joints are made up of two or more bones, and cartilage protects the end of these bones by working as a cushion. However, when cartilage starts damaging it can’t offer that much-needed support to the joints, and that’s when the end of the bones start rubbing off against each other, which lead to huge pain and stiffness.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop slowly and with the passage of time they become worse. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this condition include pain, stiffness, tenderness, grating sensation, bone spur, and reduced flexibility. However, just because you are observing these signs and symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean you are suffering from osteoarthritis arthritis. If you are experiencing these symptoms then you should visit your doctor immediately and figure out what exactly is causing them.
Symptoms & Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Including symptoms like joint pain, loss of appetite, and fever etc., rheumatoid arthritis is another common form of arthritis. This condition is triggered by immune system attacks, which target joints and other crucial organs in the body, perhaps that’s the reason it is also known as an autoimmune disease. The immune system does not attack joints intentionally. But no matter what leads to these immune system attacks, they definitely have a very severe impact on the joints.
This is the form of arthritis, which affects mainly writs and fingers. But though it typically affects writs and fingers, it also has a severe impact on other joints such as knees, ankles, jaw, shoulder, and neck etc. Rheumatoid arthritis is known for its symmetrical symptoms, which means if your right hand is paining severely, you will experience the same sort of pain and sensation in your left hand.
Fatigue and fever are also common signs of rheumatoid arthritis. According to experts, a lot of people struggling with this condition experience fever and fatigue once they wake up in the morning. But again, just because you suffer from fever and fatigue it doesn’t mean you have rheumatoid arthritis, because they can be caused by a wide range of health conditions. In addition to that, people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis also observe symptoms like rheumatoid nodules, pleurisy (sharp pain in the chest), and dry mouth.
Diagnosis of Arthritis
To figure out, whether the symptoms that you are experiencing are caused by arthritis or due to some other disease, you have to consult a doctor immediately.
Your physician will carry out a number of physical tests to evaluate your condition. For example, they will try to identify the level of fluid near your joints and your range of motion. To identify the condition of your bones and joints, your doctor will perform MRI, X-ray and CT scans.
The images captured by performing these tests help in identifying the issues with your bones and joints. If in case you are experiencing joint inflammation, you will get to know about that through these tests. In short, whether you suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, you will get to know about that once these tests are conducted by your doctor.
Treatments for Arthritis
Arthritis can be treated in many different ways, however, experts believe that physical therapy is the best treatment for it. The other important ways of healing the pain caused by arthritis include medications and surgery.
Medication for Controlling Pain
The common medicines that are taken by people to reduce the pain caused by arthritis include acetaminophen and hydrocodone. However, it’s crucial for you to understand that these medicines do not reduce inflammation, they are used only for subsiding pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also prescribed largely by doctors to mitigate arthritis pain. Ibuprofen and salicylates are some of the most common NSAIDs that are used for controlling the arthritis pain.
When it comes to reducing inflammation, arthritis patients also use immunosuppressants.
Surgical treatment is taken by the patients when they are left with no other option. Surgery is carried out largely in the case of hips and knees to replace them with artificial ones. When your hip or knee loses their ability to function effectively due to arthritis, your doctor has to perform hip or knee replacement surgery to reduce your pain and to improve your function.
Healthcare experts across the world believe that rather than relying on drugs and surgeries, it’s better to use non-invasive procedures like physical therapy to subside arthritis pain.
Physical therapists use techniques like aquatic therapy to decrease pain and improve movements. Aquatic therapy is an integral part of physical therapy, wherein patients have to perform useful exercises underwater that increase their flexibility and mitigate pain. Initially, all the exercises are taught effectively by the therapist to patients. Yes, they work one-on-one with their patients so that their condition can improve really fast. Once the patients are well aware of how to perform the exercises in water, they can do it on their own. And the best part of aquatic therapy is that it is designed for people of all ages. Aquatic therapy helps in strengthening the muscles surrounding the joints, mitigates swelling, and also strengthens the functioning of the nervous system.
When specific exercises are carried out underwater, they not only help in reducing pain but also improve mobility. In addition to that, based on the severity of your condition, your therapist may also combine aquatic therapy with other pain relief techniques like Kinesio taping for a quick recovery from pain.
So, whether you are experiencing arthritis pain in your shoulder or knee you can easily rely on physical therapy to recover from your condition.
About the Author:
Rozy is a writer, graduate and absolute pet lover. She loves butter chicken, and seeing her little pug, naughty Duke. When she isn’t not writing, you can find her at nearer Coffee shop.