If you are suffering from painful arthritis that is no longer well controlled with over-the-counter pain medication and mild stretching, you may need to consider therapy. Physical therapy and occupational therapy help people with many conditions, including arthritis, get their range of motion back. If you would like more information, check out these four facts regarding physical and occupational therapy for arthritis sufferers.
Physical and Occupational Therapy Are Different
Physical therapy and occupational therapy often go together, but they are quite different. Physical therapy often involves the larger muscles, so you can regain larger movements, such as bending your knees, twisting your neck, lifting your arms over your head, etc. Occupational therapy is for fine motor skills, such as holding a pencil, washing a dish, etc. Many people who need physical therapy may not need occupational therapy, depending on the severity of their arthritis.
Therapy Requires a Lot of Work
Physical therapy is hard because it is exercise. You need to strengthen weakened muscles, so they can relieve some of the pressure off the joints, reliving the symptoms. For people who don't move often because moving is painful, this can be extremely difficult. Occupational therapy can also be painful, but it can also be frustrating as you struggle to regain tasks you once deemed as simple.
You Must Practice at Home Too
Perhaps the hardest part of physical and occupational therapy is the homework. You won't get good results if you only exercise in the therapist's office. Your therapist will create a treatment plan for you, based on your physical health and goals. Doing exercises at home can prove to be difficult because you don't have anyone watching you and correcting your posture. Consider getting a mirror at home, so you can watch your own form during the exercises, so you get the most out of your treatment.
There are Several Types of Specialties to Consider
Even at the physical and occupational therapists' offices, you may undergo specialty therapies. These may include a trip to the massage therapist to relieve tight muscles, but your therapist may also recommend visiting a chiropractor or acupuncturist. Other therapies you may experience are electrical simulation, thermotherapy and hydrotherapy. All these are designed to help relax muscles and ease stiff joints.
Arthritis can be incredibly painful and make doing daily tasks difficult or impossible. Physical therapy and occupational therapy are designed to help you regain your range of motion. For more information, contact a therapist at Lake Centre For Rehabilitation.