The ultimate goal for any treatment plan of an arthritic condition is to reduce pain, prevent further damage or inflammation and improve the function of the affected joint/s. Careful exercise and appropriate movements can be highly effective in helping arthritis sufferers cope with their condition.
Despite a joint being affected by arthritis it is still perfectly capable to perform as is physically required as long as it is given the right care and conditioning. The previous history of the affected joint, such as any injuries and given treatment, will play a significant role in future rehabilitation planning. For a more detailed look at symptomatic assessment and treatment options see recent article - Coping With Arthritis And Our Treatment Approach
It is also quite possible that you may have to adjust certain physical habits you may have with regards how you perform everyday tasks.
With a perfectly healthy and able body we usually don't give much thought to the individual techniques we adopt when carrying out simple movements such as lifting pots and pans out from kitchen cupboards. When an arthritic joint causes you pain during these tasks it is often the case that a revised technique would prevent experiencing the pain. Read an example of this physical adjustment here - Hip Pain Assessment - Keeping it Relevant.
Joint and muscle stiffness is a common problem that can be overcome with a suitable exercise program. Improving muscle and bone strength will help keep you in tip top condition and should significantly reduce any lingering pain. By performing a decent range of motion exercises will also improve your flexibility and core strength offering better overall stability.
Pilates is an almost tailor-made exercise system for arthritis suffers. It is low impact on the joints, can include hundreds of movement variations and is excellent for developing core muscle strength. For added peace of mind and confidence choose a class led by a Chartered Physiotherapist.
The following related articles will provide you further valuable information
By Simon Coghlan MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the integration of medical acupuncture techniques with manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction.