Living a life in pain is a difficult thing to do. If you are living with the pain caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis, then this is something that you know all too well. The swelling of joints can be so debilitating and painful that life can seem, at times, unbearable.
To help with this, therapy is a great plan of action. In regards to Rheumatoid Arthritis there are two types of therapy that can be beneficial: physical therapy and occupational therapy.
What is the difference between the two? Let’s take a look at these two different therapies, how they can play a supportive role in increasing your ease of movement and your ability to go out and enjoy life.
The use of occupational therapy in your treatment plan helps in various ways. An occupational therapist is a highly trained specialist that will help you return to normal activities by helping you create an easier life for yourself. For example, an occupational therapist will go beyond the office and visit you, assisting you in modifying your home and place of work so that your places of dwelling don’t increase discomfort or aggravate the arthritis. An occupational therapist will also will create supportive braces that will help the joints feel more stabilized. They can, in addition, assist in finding different ways to make common tasks like driving, bathing, cleaning the home and other normal activities easier through the use of helpful tools such as a larger steering wheel to grab on to, or a large handled scrub brush to assist with washing oneself.
When it comes to physical therapy, the main goal of the therapist is to assist you in regaining mobility, strength and the ability to do everyday activities with ease.
How does a physical therapist assist with mobility, strength and the ability to do things? The therapist is a guiding friend in showing you various exercises, stretches and movements that will help the body to reduce swelling, increase muscle capacity and decrease pain. One of the main focuses of a physical therapist is to increase a person’s range of motion. A key element in making this happen is increasing a person’s strength. Through the physical therapist developing ways that the patient can increase strength, the therapist is offering a way for the muscles to assist in stabilizing a joint that is compromised. In addition to showing the most beneficial exercises for gaining strength and increasing mobility, a physical therapist will also be a good source of education if learning how to walk with a brace or cane is needed.
Kishana Sainte writes on health & lifestyle topics, including rheumatoid arthritis on behalf of MyDocHub.com, a trusted online patient recommendation and medical information website developing condition-specific apps such as its RA Health Flare Tracker iPhone/iPad app.