Arthritis – Causes & Symptoms
Arthritis is a nagging problem when managed diligently can be controlled effectively. The person who is affected can lead a normal qualitative life when he understands his/her problem better. There are many types of arthritis namely Osteoathritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout etc. Among these, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are more common. Osteoarthritis is due to degenerative changes in the joints due to wear and tear resulting in joint inflammation, pain, swelling, restriction of joint mobility thereby affecting the basic function like sitting, standing and walking, Knees are the most common joints that are affected. Thencomes the hips, small joints in the hands, and ankles. With proper medical consultation and physiotherapy these individuals can lead a pain free normal life.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition with severe joint inflammation with remissions ad relapses. The cause is unknown. It can start with any joint. Usually this is symmetrical. Both the knees will be affected and then both the ankles, both the hands, both the elbows, both the shoulders and then the spine will also be affected. If not treated properly the joints can result in crippling deformities. These patients should consult a Rheumatologists periodically to control the joint inflammation with proper medications along with a comprehensive physiotherapy care.
Physiotherapy plays a vital role in the management of arthritis. If there is a joint swelling it is better to apply a soft gel type ice pack wrapped over a thin cloth for 10 to 15 minutes. Any acute pain and swelling in the joint will respond better to cold pack. This is followed by gentle isometric exercises. For example if there is a pain and swelling in the knee, knee pressing exercises can be done by keeping a turkey towel role under the knee. As the pain and swelling comes down the exercises can be progressed. In the case of sub-acute and chronic joint pain, heat therapy is ideal. Electric hot pack or hot water bag can be applied at home after finishing the simple exercises. Exercises should be done methodically. When exercises are done methodically the muscles in and around the arthritic joints will get strengthened and improve the blood circulation thereby do the repair process resulting in pain reduction. The strong muscles will stabilize the joints and improve the endurance too.
For all those arthritis sufferers , good luck on proper exercising!