What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy helps to improve the strength of muscle, and joint which is affected by injury, diseases, or disability through movement, exercise, manual therapy, and advice.
What are the most common joint complaints?
Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout are the most common complaint, and physiotherapy has a great role in it.
What are the benefits of physiotherapy in joint complaints?
- It reduces pain which in turn helps you reduce your intake of painkillers.
- In some cases, it prevents chances of surgery, and also increases the capacity of the joint to function for the longer period of time.
- It improves mobility, and movement of the joints.
- It avoids fall which is usually common in the joint complaint and improves the balance of the patients.
How physiotherapy help in the joint complaint?
Physiotherapy includes following methods to improve the joint complaints:
- Local applications
Application of ice packs to soothe hot, swollen joints and application of heat packs to relax tense, tired muscles is usually done.
- Splinting of joints
In cases of rheumatoid arthritis where joint complaints flare ups at that time splinting of the joints helps to the greater extent. Immobilization of the joint with splint helps to avoid further damage of soft tissues, and nerves.
- Trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy - It helps by blocking pain messages from affected joint to the brain, and it alters the perception of pain. It is done by using a small machine with an electronic device which sends impulses to the nerve endings, and this is attached with the pads which are placed on the skin. This device causes a tingling sensation that gives soothing effects to the joint.
- Gradual increasing daily exercises - Exercise should be started slowly, and it should increase slowly. This helps to strengthen the muscles and joints and increases fitness. Regular exercise also stimulates the production of endorphin which is one of the best pain-relieving hormones.
- Massage therapy - Physiotherapy also includes massage therapy which helps to relax the muscles, helps to improve joint movement, and makes more comfortable movements.
- Acupuncture - Sometimes, acupuncture is also used to stimulate the brain to produce endorphins.
- Hydrotherapy - Hydrotherapy includes exercise in the warm water pool. It is mostly used in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The warm water in the pool increases circulation during exercise, and due to the buoyancy of water, the joint, and muscles can be exercised without any unnecessary pressure on it.
- Phonophoresis - In which ultrasound is used to deliver certain medications such as topical steroids, painkillers to decrease the inflammation of joints.
- Use of light therapy - In light therapy, infrared waves are used to raise body temperature which ultimately increases blood circulation. It gives fast pain relief and reduces inflammation.