40% of the older population around the world suffer from arthritis, and 50% of women in this population suffer from hand joint arthritis. It can lead to discomfort and inflammation, which makes you unable to walk and remain active. There are many kinds of arthritis. Each one has different symptoms and may require different treatment options. Although arthritis is most commonly seen in elderly adults, the condition is also able to be seen in women, men and even children of all ages.
Arthritis: A painful disorder for young to older people
Arthritis is an ailment that affects joints (areas where your bones meet and move). It is usually characterized by an inflammation and decline (breakdown) of joints. These changes can result in discomfort whenever you use the joint.
Arthritis is the most frequent complaint in the following regions in the body.
- Lower back.
Analyzing different kinds of body fluids can determine the kind of arthritis you could be suffering from. The most commonly studied fluids include urine, blood as well as joint fluid. In order to collect a sample joint fluid, specialists clean and then numb the area prior to inserting a needle into the joint to draw out the fluid.
These tests are able to identify joint problems which could be the cause of your symptoms. Examples include:
Using low levels of radiation to show bones, X-rays may reveal the loss of cartilage, bone damage as well as bone spurs. The X-rays might not show earlier signs of arthritis, however, they are frequently utilized to monitor the progress of the condition.
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Computerized Tomography (CT).
CT scanners collect X-rays from different angles, and combine the data to produce sections of views of the internal structure. CTs You can see both bone and the soft tissues around it.
Imaging with magnetic resonance (MRI).
The combination of radio waves with magnetic fields that are strong, MRIs The ability to produce detailed cross-sectional pictures of soft tissues, such as ligaments, cartilage and tendons.
This technology uses high-frequency sound waves that image cartilage, soft tissues and structures that contain fluid near the joint (bursae). Ultrasound can also be used to assist in the placement of needles for removal of joint fluid, or to inject medications into joints.
Therapeutic intervention for arthritis:
Therapists can provide new methods to complete everyday tasks that are less strain on joints. Assistive devices help you avoid straining your joint pain. For example, a kitchen knife with a handgrip can help safeguard your wrist and fingers joints. Certain tools, like buttonhooks, will aid in getting dressed. Catalogs and stores for medical supplies are great places to search for suggestions.
Physiotherapy is a non-invasive yet effective treatment for arthritis, especially hand arthritis.
You can gradually increase your stamina, strength, physical fitness and endurance through a gradual program of exercise. Your physiotherapist will guide you how to start slowly and gradually increase your exercise, without over-stressing yourself or adding to your discomfort.
Your physiotherapist is likely to recommend the following:
stretching exercises that can help reduce pain and stiffness and help you get the most movement out of your joints
Arthritis patients should do strengthening exercise after a certain level of rehabilitation. These exercises are designed to make their joint muscles durable and less fragile.
general fitness exercises that are vital for your overall well-being.
Proprioceptive exercise, which helps enhance coordination, balance and agility.
We suggest that you select a plan that incorporates Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga to help you manage your pain and rehabilitation session more efficiently.
Some physiotherapists have access to an aqua therapy (sometimes known as hydrotherapy) pool, where you can exercise within warm waters. Many are able to move more easily in the water. The warmness is relaxing and the water is able to support your weight, so that it is possible to move muscles and joints without straining them.
Treatment for pain relief:
Medicines can be helpful, however a physiotherapist can inform you about alternative methods of pain relief that can be used in conjunction with the medications. There’s a possibility to keep doing some of these therapies yourself during your appointments. For instance:
- Ice packs to cool joints that are hot and swollen.
- Heat packs to ease tension muscle
- Splints to ease swelling or painful joints
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), which works by altering the pain signals in your brain. TENS machines are tiny electronic devices that send impulses to nerve endings using pads that are placed on the skin. The result is a tingling sensation that many find relaxing.
Some physiotherapists have additional training in different methods of pain relief for example:
Massage or manipulation to ease stiffness and pain, ease muscles and improve the range of motion in the joint
Acupuncture, believed to be effective by interfering with the brain’s signals to signal pain and triggering an increase in natural painkillers, known as endorphins. Again electrotherapy; a modern ultrasound technique with low level laser that stimulates the healing process by reducing the pain.
Injectors of steroids can be beneficial in the case of joints that are painful and hinder your ability to get more active.
Many arthritis patients lose their grasping ability, in this case, your hand therapist or physiotherapist will guide you how to increase grip strength.