According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1 in 7 Australians have a form of arthritis. The sad part of arthritis is that most forms of this disorder are incurable, and if you have been recently diagnosed with arthritis, this news might make you wonder what the point is in trying options like medication or physical therapy. The point is that treatments such as physiotherapy can make a difference in the way arthritis impacts your life, and here are three reasons why.
Once arthritis takes hold, there is no reversing it, but you can slow the progression of it. One way to do this is by using exercise. Physiotherapy covers many different topics, and one thing a physiotherapist does is teach you how to exercise after arthritis has been diagnosed. For example, if you were previously a runner, then you will find arthritis halts this activity because the impact is too hard on your feet and knees. However, as an alternative, a physiotherapist may recommend walking, yoga or other low-impact exercises which keep the body moving without affecting the joints. When you exercise, you retain the range of motion in your joints and muscles, and this slows the progression of arthritis.
As well as providing advice on exercising, a physiotherapist puts your body through a regular range of stretches and teaches you how to do these at home as well. The benefit of this stretching is that performing it regularly increases blood flow into the arthritic area. The more blood which flows through the affected area, the less pain you feel as the blood opens up the nerve endings which create pain when they are constricted. While it is tempting to only do the exercises yourself at home, by seeing a physiotherapist regularly you are guaranteed to get experienced hands-on stretching which professionally targets those areas that are in pain.
As well as needing physical support to live with arthritis, there is mental support required as your life goes through this change. Because a physiotherapist is experienced in how to reduce the impact of arthritis on your life, they can listen during your meetings while you discuss new symptoms or concerns. While they in no way replace medical advice from a doctor, a physiotherapist can advise you on whether what you are experiencing is common and will direct you back to your GP when the need arises.
While arthritis cannot be removed, its effect on your life can be diminished with the helping hand of a physiotherapist, so take the time to attend an initial appointment to see the effect they can have on your life. To learn more about physiotherapy, contact a company like Function PCP.