Do you feel stiff and sore, with a limited range of motion? You may be suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is a very common condition that can affect any joint in the body, but it most commonly affects the hands, neck, spine, and knees. There are many treatments that can help minimize the symptoms or the pain one can get from arthritis, but physiotherapy is definitely one of the best natural options around. Here are four types of therapy a physiotherapy clinic can use to alleviate your discomfort.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that uses fine needles or applied pressure into the body's "meridian" points. Numerous proponents of acupuncture say it provides incredible relief from pain, reduces inflammation, helps with muscle tension and spasms, and increases circulation—all helpful for arthritis patients. On top of this, acupuncture can relieve mental stress and tension, helping you to deal with the trials and tribulations of your condition.
Exercise is the treatment most commonly associated with physiotherapy, and for good reason. Your physiotherapist can guide you in exercises to improve your mobility and strengthen your muscles. When the muscles are strong, they provide support for the joints. In turn, your joints experience less stress over time, helping to relieve pain and stiffness. With this information in mind, your physiotherapist will evaluate which joints are causing you pain and determine which exercises are likely to help. Some of the recommended exercises you may be prescribed include stretching, yoga, Pilates, regular walking, cycling, or swimming.
Another known useful treatment that physiotherapists use is massage therapy, which has been found helpful and soothing by many arthritis patients. Your physiotherapist will massage the joints and muscles of your body to reduce pain and stiffness. This increases flexibility, stimulates blood flow, and overall makes your joints feel less worn out. Stroking, kneading, and tapping are all common massage techniques used to alleviate arthritis symptoms.
Finally, while physiotherapists can't prescribe medicines, they can (and often do) recommend various over-the-counter supplements to tackle arthritis. One common supplement recommended by physiotherapists is glucosamine, a mineral that is naturally produced by the body in response to injury. Glucosamine helps repair joints, so it can be very helpful to people with arthritis. Another supplement you may be prescribed is omega-3. Omega-3s are important fatty acids needed for healthy brain function, heart health, metabolism, and, of course, joint mobility. Supplements are a great way to complement regular physiotherapy treatment so you can get the best results.