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What Is The Role Of Occupational Therapy In Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Iram Parveen 91% (868 ratings)
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT)
Occupational Therapist, Delhi  •  7 years experience
What Is The Role Of Occupational Therapy In Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Lifestyle Diseases have been on the rise and to manage these conditions, a combination of medications and therapies become essential.

Occupational Therapy focuses on the way of living rather on medicines to enable the people to lead a life they want to. It is more of a rehabilitation program or therapy to make the patients of rheumatoid arthritis more adaptable to the life changes and to perform their activities on their own.

What is included in occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy involves self-care procedures in which the patient is treated and trained to learn to do things by themselves like using the washroom, eating, and dressing up, etc. People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to lose balance and have less control over their movements and OT helps in rebuilding that strength required for performing the daily activities.

It also involves leisure time for the patients, and it allows them to choose how they want to spend their free time. An occupational therapist helps them understand their interests and to grow that interest as well.
In rheumatoid arthritis, doing some work is necessary to keep your bones and the joints active so that they don’t swell up or get inflamed which is common with this disease. Moreover, OT involves both physical and mental work to keep you active throughout the day.

Besides helping the patient to achieve physical stability, OT helps them to gain mental strength as well. There are sessions which assist them to determine their life goals and things they want to do in their life. Life's hard with rheumatoid arthritis, but with proper occupational therapy and Physical therapy combined, it can become much easier.

OT also involves different changes or interventions to perform and achieve the life goals of the person.

The Essential Role of an Occupational Therapist
The role of an occupational therapist is vital for the patient who has rheumatoid arthritis. As mentioned above that OT involves nothing but doing all the daily life activities which a person is afraid to do because of the joint and bone disorder in rheumatoid arthritis, the occupational therapist help them perform this action more scientifically. They can examine the household of the patient and make necessary changes like replacing small door knobs/handles/levers with the larger ones, small switches with the bigger ones. They can also rearrange the kitchen items to make it easier for the patients to use them and also suggesting the patients to use comfortable chairs or bedding to reduce pain and other symptoms.

The therapist keeps an eye on every change or improvement of the patient and makes necessary adjustments and intervention in the activities to achieve the life goal as soon as possible.

Occupational therapy is highly based on evidence from the past, and it is deeply rooted to the basics of scientific management of rheumatoid arthritis. A time-tested and approved therapy, Occupational therapy makes the life of an RA patient less-painful. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.

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