Arthritis therapies can help relieve those suffering from arthritis pain in their daily lives. Designed to treat the symptoms of arthritis, these therapies go beyond the medications to help arthritis sufferers live more ordinary day-to-day lives. These arthritis therapies are meant to be done in conjunction with medical and medication treatments, not in place of them. We've consulted several different sources to find the top 3 arthritis therapies you should discuss with your doctor. These therapies can help diminish the pain of arthritis, allowing you to get on with your everyday tasks in a world that doesn't always like to wait for you.
Hot and cold therapy is a top choice among arthritis pain sufferers. Alternating hot and cold packs can soothe inflamed muscles and relieve the swelling that arthritis causes in the joints. How much heat and cold you use will be up to your own taste and needs: you might need more cold for swelling, or more heat for sore muscles. The heat helps the blood circulate, reducing pain and getting needed oxygen to the muscles, and it also works to reduce muscle spasms. Just make sure that the heat isn't too hot for your skin. Cold, of course, reduces inflammation in the joints, making them less painful to move.
Occupational therapy is designed to retrain how you think about movement in the course of your day and in how you do your job. It is an effort to have you think about and analyze your movements and eliminate those that that might cause problems. Working with a licensed occupational therapist can help you find those areas where changing the way you move can actually help ease your arthritis. Once those areas are recognized, they can be changed, modified, or eliminated. If your occupation involves repetitive movement, a therapist can help find a different way to move or a set up at your work that will allow movement with less pain involved. They can also prescribe different devices that will help you be able to do your job or every day tasks with less pain in your movements.
Physical therapy can be the most important arthritis therapy the patient can have in the treatment of the disease. It is too easy if you have arthritis to become sedentary: if it hurts to move, then after a while you simply stop moving. Physical therapy works to turn this understandable trend around. Therapy helps keep the muscles and joints active, keeping arthritis patients moving and physically active, which has been shown to reduce pain in the short run and over time. Physical therapy will work the muscles and keep flexibility and muscle strength while showing how to do things like lifting and sitting with less pain. By keeping active and fit through activities such as swimming or going on walks -- or even by doing exercises to strengthen the wrists and fingers -- patients are more likely to retain their mobility and avoid becoming home or chair bound.