Arthritis 2

Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. Because kinesiology taping can usually be left on for several days or up to a week, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions.

Benefits of Kinesiology Taping

Pain Relief via Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts

Kinesiology tape is a flexible elastic tape that moves with your body. The supple elasticity provides supports to your body parts without the tape slipping.

By supporting your body part, kinesiology tape can provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.

Muscle Support

Kinesiology tape potentially assists your muscle strength via physical assistance. It also provides tactile feedback through the skin, e.g. proprioception boost. This phenomenon may help both the non-disabled athlete to enhance their performance and hypotonic, e.g. children with low muscle tone.

Swelling Reduction

Kinesiology provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain and swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the kinesiology tape.

It is also thought that this same principle can assist the removal of exercise byproducts like lactic acid that may contribute to post-exercise soreness, e.g. delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

More info: Strapping & Supportive Taping

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, often referred to as degenerative arthritis.

The joints show signs of wear: joint cartilage becomes thin, extra bony spurs grow in response to stress, and joint motion lessens. In advanced stages, osteoarthritis can be painful, functionally limiting and depressing.

What is the Osteoarthritis Cure?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. But the good news is that there are some better ways to manage your osteoarthritis and slow the degeneration process. This improvement will result in making your life easier and more comfortable. Physiotherapy is a significant part of making your life living with osteoarthritis less painful, comfier and keeping you active.

Research Supports Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can reduce the pain and disability associated with arthritis, especially knee osteoarthritis.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096458

Seek the professional and helpful advice of your physiotherapist to start enjoying life again today!

Your Osteoarthritis Diagnosis

X-rays are the most straightforward test to confirm osteoarthritis. An experienced practitioner will have an excellent idea of whether you have osteoarthritis when they examine you.

How Does Osteoarthritis Affect Older People?

As you age, most people develop some degree of osteoarthritis. Our joints' wear and tear may occur due to ageing, injury, prolonged microtrauma, overuse of joints, or excess weight. Permanent bony changes occur and will exist even when there are no painful symptoms.

Your degree of suffering varies. The most common is mild or intermittent pain provoked by episodes of increased use or minor trauma. Whereas some people may be symptom-free, others may suffer continuous disabling pain.

The joints most commonly affected are the weight-bearing joints: hip, knee, ankles, feet and spine. However, osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body and is quite common in the hands and shoulders. Severe cases may require surgical treatment, but most will respond very well to your doctor's physiotherapy and medication.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

You can suspect osteoarthritis if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • joint pain or tenderness that intermittently returns
  • stiffness, particularly early morning stiffness
  • joint swelling or deformity
  • noticeable joint heat and redness
  • joint movement is strenuous.

Osteoarthritis Treatment

For advice on your osteoarthritis diagnosis, self-help tips or the best treatment of your osteoarthritis, don't hesitate to get in touch with your physiotherapist or trusted health care professional.

More Info

Arthritis Treatment

Can You Make Arthritis Go Away?

If you think that there’s nothing you can do about arthritis? Great news! You can act right now. Some of the ideas here are simple, one-time actions. Others are the first steps toward longer-term goals. All can directly or indirectly improve your health, outlook or pain levels and generally make life with arthritis a little easier.

Get an Accurate Diagnosis

If you have pain, stiffness or swelling in or around a joint for more than two weeks, it's time to see your doctor, physiotherapist or health professional. These symptoms can develop suddenly or slowly. Only a well-trained health professional doctor can tell if it's arthritis. But "you have arthritis" is not a diagnosis. Ask for a specific diagnosis of the type of arthritis you have. There are more than 100 types – including osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis) and rheumatoid arthritis – each of which has different treatments. Getting the proper treatment requires getting the correct diagnosis.

Protect Your Joints

Avoid excess stress on your joints. Use larger or stronger joints to carry things. Assistive devices can make tasks at home and work easier. Look for them in the kitchen (rubber jar openers, reachers), bedroom (zipper pulls, buttoning aids), bathroom (tub bars, handrails) and for other areas of your life. Look for products with the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation. These are items that are comfortable, easy-to-use or have user-friendly packaging.

Also, staying close to your recommended weight helps relieve damaging pressure on the hips and knees.

Get Moving - Stay Moving!

Exercise helps lessen pain, increases range of movement, reduces fatigue and helps you feel better overall. A well-rounded workout routine for people with arthritis includes flexibility exercises to increase motion, aerobic conditioning to improve endurance, decreased fatigue, and strengthening exercises to improve muscle fitness.

Your physiotherapist can show you range-of-motion exercises and strengthening exercises that are good for arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation also offers general exercise, aquatic, Tai Chi and walking programs.

The key is to have a regular exercise program. We commonly recommend that adults do a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking, gardening) a week or 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous aerobic physical exercise (jogging, aerobic dancing). Whether your activity is moderate or strong, the goal is to keep moving.

Lose Weight

Lose weight. You won’t just look better. You’ll feel better, too. Why? Every extra kilogram you carry around translates to added stress to your knees and hips. Excess weight can mean more pain, no matter which form of arthritis you have. It can also contribute to and aggravate osteoarthritis while increasing your risk of gout.

Bone Up

Stock up on your favourite source of calcium. A diet rich in this important mineral can help decrease your risk of osteoporosis. Besides, inflammatory arthritis conditions accelerate bone loss, so getting the optimum calcium intake is critical. Recommended daily doses of calcium are 1,000 mg for adults 50 and younger and 1,200 mg for adults over 50. If you don’t like drinking milk – or want some variety – try consuming more milk products, such as yogurt, cheese and ice cream. Or add powdered milk to puddings, gravies, shakes and other recipes. Other good sources of calcium: broccoli, salmon (with the bones) and kale.

Do Drugs – The Right Way!

Take your medication just as your doctor prescribes. Call your doctor first if you’re tempted to stop because you feel it’s not working or believe it’s causing side effects. It can take weeks – or even months – for a medication's full benefits to become apparent, and some side effects ease over time. Stopping medication abruptly may not only cause you to miss out on its benefits – in some cases, but it can also be downright dangerous.

Begin with Breakfast

Grab some fruit, fibre (like oatmeal) and a tall glass of water instead of coffee. Like you’ve always heard, a healthy breakfast is a great way to start the day. Without it, the bad results can range from higher cholesterol, lower energy and overeating throughout the day.

Walk

Would you please choose your favourite spots (indoors and out) and plan to walk them at least once a week? Walking is the ideal exercise for most people with arthritis. It burns calories, strengthens muscles and builds denser bones – all without jarring fragile joints.

Sit, Soak and Soothe

A warm bath before bed can relieve muscle tension, ease aching joints and help you get a good night’s sleep.

Treat Your Muscles

Find a remedial massage therapist and treat yourself to a good rub down. The benefits vary from person to person but may include decreased pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, increased circulation, energy and flexibility, eased muscle spasms, and improved body’s sleep and immune functions. Mentally, massage can also decrease stress and depression. Besides, it just feels good. Be sure to find a skilled massage therapist working with people with arthritis, as some massage elements may not be appropriate for you.

Stretch Your Legs

Stretching is a simple way to keep joints and muscles flexible. It relieves stress and can help enable you to maintain your daily activities. Try this to keep your calf muscles strong and flexible: Stand two feet from a wall, with your toes pointed inward, palms against the wall. You keep your knees straight and feet flat; lean forward onto your hands without bending at the waist. Feel your calf muscles pull and extend. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then gently push away from the wall. Repeat.

Take the Plunge

Some aquatic programs and exercises are great for people with arthritis. Try water walking, for example. Exercising in the water can build strength and increase motion range, while the water’s buoyancy reduces wear and tear on sore joints. Water provides 12 times with the air resistance, so you’re getting a great workout without the wear and tear on your joints.

Ice it!

When joints are hot and inflamed, applying something cold can decrease pain and swelling by constricting blood vessels and preventing fluids from leaking into surrounding tissues. Our favourite ice pack: a bag of frozen peas or corn that can be moulded to the shape of your body.

Quit Smoking

If only for a day, and then another … and another. Smoking can increase your risk of complications from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It can increase your risk of developing psoriasis and can predispose you to osteoporosis. Also, if you have to undergo joint surgery, smoking can prolong your recovery. Arthritis drugs can also be less effective for smokers, and smoking can contribute to sleep problems.

Enjoy Your Exercise

Take the work out of working out. Sign up for a class that makes exercise fun – country line dancing, ballroom dancing, swimming, yoga or tai chi. Some have specific benefits for people with arthritis. Tai chi, for example, reduces the pain and impairment for people with severe knee osteoarthritis. The slow, graceful exercise – initially a Chinese martial art – also reduces stress and can improve balance. Yoga strengthens and relaxes muscles stiff from arthritis, as well as helps with weight loss programs.

For individual advice, we urge you to seek the opinion of your physiotherapist or trusted health professional.

More Arthritis Information

When Should You Commence Physiotherapy?

In severe cases, it is best to commence physiotherapy as soon as possible.  However, it does vary from case to case. Your physiotherapist has some nifty tricks to improve your pain straight away.

If you are not sure what to do, please call us for advice. We’ll happily guide you in your time of need. Often a bit of reassurance is all that you will need.

How Much Treatment Will You Need?

After assessing your injury, your physiotherapist will discuss the injury severity with you and estimate the number of treatments needed. No two injuries are ever the same.

Your treatment will include techniques and exercises to regain your:

  • joint, ligament and soft tissue mobility
  • muscle strength, power and speed
  • balance and proprioception
  • prevention tips
  • performance improvement.

What If You Delay Treatment?

Research tells us that symptoms lasting longer than three months become habitual and are much harder to solve. This can lead to nastier conditions.  The sooner you get on top of your symptoms the better your outcome.

All injuries are different and little variations can make a big improvement to your recovery rate.  Stiff joints or muscles may need some range of movement exercises. Other injuries may require massage or very specific strengthening exercises.

Seek professional guidance promptly for your best outcome.