Arthritis is characterised by inflammation and degeneration of a joint, which causes joint pain and swelling. Arthritis most commonly affects the hands, back, knees and hips. It can progress to the point where it affects work, sports and everyday life activities.
Knowledge of Arthritis is developing rapidly and modern treatments are improving the quality of life of people with Arthritis. There is always something that can be done to help Arthritis and, by understanding more about Arthritis, people are better able to help themselves.
Having Arthritis doesn't have to mean that sports, work and everyday activities get progressively more difficult, in fact under the supervision of your doctor and Chartered Physiotherapist a sensible level of exercise can reduce the symptoms of Arthritis.
Early treatment may be able to slow the progression of Arthritis. Painful flare ups can be treated with Anti-Inflammatory Medication prescribed by a doctor. For those people who prefer not to take tablets Anti-Inflammatory Gel can be effective in relieving joint pains. Anti-Inflammatory Gel works directly at the site of pain and can also be used with Anti-Inflammatory Medication prescribed by your doctor.
Exercise and maintain an active lifestyle following advice from a
Chartered Physiotherapist. By maintaining muscle function the joints are better protected and movement helps to prevent joint stiffness. Running in water with the aid of a
Bouyancy Belt can be very effective in the management of Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Hot and Cold Therapy can be very helpful for direct symptom relief. Ice packs can be applied for 20 minutes every couple of hours.
There are various methods of applying hot & cold therapy:
Dangers to be aware of:
The use of ice therapy should ideally be under the direction of a Chartered Physiotherapist and should be avoided where patients have extreme reactions to cold, have high blood pressure, impaired sensation or circulatory problems.
Obesity increases stress on the joints and accelerates the progression of Arthritis. Excessive fat and sugar in the diet can cause obesity and increase inflammation in affected joints. A balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is recommended.
Some research suggests that increased intake of dietary antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, might protect against Arthritis by improving the quality of joint cartilage.
Massage therapy can be effective in relieving the symptoms of Arthritis. Massage increases blood flow, mobilises soft tissue and improves lymphatic drainage. This helps to bring nutrients to the soft tissues, break down adhesions that cause stiffness and remove waste products. Professional massage therapy can be extremely effective, but if this is not available self or partner massage can also relieve symptoms.
Massage using Massage Oils & Gels can provide muscle relaxation and therapeutic pain relief. Dr Warrier's Pain Relieving Massage Oil contains a combination of herbs well known for their anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Massage facilitates its absorption into the musculoskeletal system where it works to relieve pain and promote healing. Deep Relief Gel with Ibuprofen is a clear, non-sticky and non-greasy gel with a mild, pleasant menthol fragrance and is also effective in the relief of pain in mild Arthritis.
Massage Balls can be used to provide extra therapeutic stimulation and assist with self massage.