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21 Aug

Physiotherapy can be beneficial for individuals with arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that involves inflammation and stiffness of the joints, leading to pain and reduced mobility. Physiotherapy aims to improve joint function, alleviate pain, and enhance overall quality of life through various techniques and exercises. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about physiotherapy and its role in managing arthritis:

What is arthritis or osteoarthritis?

Physiotherapy for Arthritis
  • Arthritis, also known as Osteoarthritis (OA), is one of the most common causes of a decrease in mobility and an increase in disability among older adults. It is a common condition affecting the joints, most often the knees, hips, lower back, neck, and fingers.
  • In a typical joint, there is a smooth layer of cartilage over the surfaces of the bones. This cartilage has several purposes, including distributing weight evenly during movement to minimize friction and absorb any shock.
  • In OA, this cartilage breaks down and causes bones to rub against each other, producing pain and, therefore, disuse of that joint. Muscle weakness due to decreased use is a commonly associated issue in osteoarthritis, which affects function and mobility in many ways.

Can physiotherapy help with the pain?

Yes, physiotherapy can help manage arthritis pain by utilizing techniques such as manual therapy, joint mobilization, and soft tissue manipulation. These techniques can help reduce pain and improve joint function.

Can physiotherapy prevent joint deformities in arthritis patients?

Early intervention through physiotherapy can help prevent or minimize joint deformities by maintaining joint function, improving muscle balance around the affected joints, and promoting proper biomechanics.

Can physiotherapy reduce the need for medication?

In some cases, successful physiotherapy can lead to reduced reliance on pain medications or other arthritis-related drugs. However, this should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.

How long does it take to see results from physiotherapy for arthritis?

The timeline for seeing results can vary based on the severity of arthritis, the individual’s response to treatment, and consistency in following the physiotherapy program. Some individuals may experience improvements within a few weeks, while others might require more time.

Is physiotherapy suitable for all types of arthritis?

Physiotherapy can be beneficial for various types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. However, the approach may vary depending on the specific type and individual needs.

How can strength training help arthritis?

  • The strength in the muscles surrounding a joint is directly related to the progression of osteoarthritis. Studies show that muscle weakness after decreased use of the joint due to pain can actually make OA progress faster, further exacerbating the disability. In normal aging, there can already be some underlying muscle wasting or weakness, making function even more difficult.
  • The goals of strength training are to decrease pain, protect against worsening of the condition, and improve self-efficacy and general health/well-being. Below are some ways strength training can help OA:
    • Improve joint mechanics by offloading the join with stronger muscles
    • Reduce joint pain by normalizing neural firing patterns
    • Decrease cartilage degeneration by decreasing inflammatory chemicals in the body that breakdown cartilage
    • Decrease depression and anxiety by increasing self-efficacy, independence, and mobility
  • Older adults without existing osteoarthritis can lower their chances of getting it with increased strength!

What does the evidence show?

  • Pain decreased by almost 50% in as little as 2 months of strength training
  • Improve walking distance by 30-45%
  • Significantly decrease progression of OA in the long-term, up to 30 months after beginning strengthening exercise

What are some of the changes I can expect to see after seeing a physiotherapist?

Changes you will see!

  • Easier to go up and down the stairs
  • Less pain during squatting and kneeling tasks
  • Ability to walk longer and faster, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities
  • Better mood and decreased emotional stress

What are some exercises to do for arthritis?

Examples of exercises

  • Swimming
    • great for taking the weight of your joints but challenging your muscles against the weight of the water!
  • Squatting up and down from a chair
    • You do this every day and it will translate directly into easier activities of daily living!
  • Biking
    • Another very functional, strengthening exercise that also incorporates aerobic training to increase overall health
  • Single leg balance

How do I book an appointment at a Physiotherapy Clinic near me?

Click HERE to book an appointment with a physiotherapist or chiropractor at one of our eight locations.

15 Aug

Warm-up exercises are essential to prepare your body for more intense physical activity by increasing blood flow to your muscles, raising your heart rate, and improving flexibility.

Here are ten effective warm-up exercises you can perform before a workout:

  1. Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet together and hands by your sides. Jump and spread your feet apart while raising your arms overhead. Jump again to return to the starting position.
  2. High Knees: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee at a time towards your chest while jogging on the spot, pumping your arms as you go.
  3. Arm Circles: Extend your arms out to the sides and make small circles with your hands, gradually increasing the size of the circles. After a few repetitions, reverse the direction.
  4. Leg Swings: Hold onto a stable surface (e.g., a wall or pole) for balance. Swing one leg forward and backward, and then sideways, in a controlled manner. Repeat with the other leg.
  5. Hip Circles: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Make circles with your hips, rotating in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  6. Bodyweight Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Return to the starting position and repeat.
  7. Arm Crosses: Extend your arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height. Cross your arms in front of your chest, then open them wide again. Continue crossing back and forth.
  8. Butt Kicks: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Kick your heels up towards your glutes, one leg at a time, while jogging on the spot.
  9. Shoulder Circles: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears, then roll them backward in a circular motion. Reverse the direction after a few repetitions.
  10. Walking Lunges: Take a step forward with one leg and lower your body into a lunge position. Push off the front foot and bring it back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

FAQs

1. How long should I spend on warm-up exercises?

Aim to spend at least 5 to 10 minutes on your warm-up routine. The duration may vary depending on the intensity of your workout and personal preferences.

2. Should I stretch during the warm-up?

Dynamic stretching, which involves moving your muscles through their range of motion, is more appropriate during the warm-up. Save static stretching (holding stretches for extended periods) for after your workout.

3. Can I skip the warm-up if I’m short on time?

It’s not advisable to skip the warm-up entirely, as it increases the risk of injury and reduces your performance during the workout. If you’re short on time, shorten the warm-up but ensure you still get your heart rate up and do some dynamic movements.

4. Can I warm up without any equipment?

Absolutely! The warm-up exercises listed above require no equipment. They use your body weight and basic movements to prepare your muscles and cardiovascular system for exercise.

5. How intense should the warm-up be?

The warm-up should be less intense than the main workout. Gradually increase the intensity of the warm-up exercises to elevate your heart rate and prepare your body for the upcoming challenges.

Remember that warm-up exercises should be tailored to your specific workout routine and individual needs. A qualified physiotherapist can assess you and determine if you have any pre-existing conditions and recommend the best pre-workout routine for you.

How do I book an appointment at a Physiotherapy Clinic near me?

Click HERE to book an appointment with a physiotherapist or chiropractor at one of our eight locations.