Rheumatoid arthritis is an extremely debilitating condition that currently has no absolute cure, which is why therapeutic treatment is vital to help with pain relief and provide an improved quality of life to sufferers of this condition. Physiotherapists have extensive experience with assisting those who struggle with chronic illness, and understand that each person experiences the condition in a somewhat unique way and that it precludes them from having a normal, healthy life. This is why our physios work towards finding customised solutions that suit the particular needs of each patient.
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakes what should be regular and healthy parts of the body as a threat, and begin attacking the joints as a result. This attack causes inflammation, specifically inside the bones, which manifests in the form of swelling and tenderness, as well as difficulty with achieving a normal range of motion. If left untreated, cartilage and bone begin to suffer damage as the inflammation worsens, ultimately breaking down cartilage to the point where bones no longer have enough buffering and start to move closer to each other. Joints tend to become unstable, loose and no longer have their normal mobility at this stage. This is a severe condition as joint deformity is not reversible and causes severe pain to sufferers. RA must be diagnosed as early as possible, to take preventative measures and manage the pain and condition better. Physiotherapy is a critical aspect of this process.
How Can Physiotherapy Help With RA?
A professional physiotherapist will be able to assess your current condition and determine what the core areas of concern are for you. With regular visits, you will be educated on how to safely exercise your muscles so that you can regain – or retain – flexibility and a better range of movement. With professional monitoring and assistance, you will be able to gradually increase the intensity of your training and build confidence in knowing exactly which exercises are safe and how to do them correctly. Physiotherapy assists in helping maintain joint stabilisation through muscular conditioning and strength training, while keeping you informed about the best ways to treat and live with your condition.