It was previously thought that patients who were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis should avoid strenuous physical activity because it might cause painful symptoms to become worse. Now, doctors know that patients with rheumatoid arthritis can actually preserve the health of their joints through physical activity. However, it’s advisable to develop a stretching and exercise program with the guidance of a professional. A physical therapist can help patients stay safe while staying active.
Maintaining Quality of Life
Quality of life is a significant concern for rheumatoid arthritis patients, particularly when they have trouble doing the activities they used to enjoy. Activities as simple as turning a doorknob, pushing a grocery cart, or playing with grandkids can be problematic. Patients can discuss their activity goals with the physical therapist, who can then design a set of exercises and stretches specifically to help patients regain function.
Improving Symptom Awareness
One of the challenges that patients face after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is that it can be difficult to discern the difference between a flare-up of symptoms and ordinary muscle soreness from activity. Physical therapists can help patients learn to differentiate these two symptoms and to learn when it’s time to rest.
Preserving Joint Health
When a physical therapist first meets a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, he or she conducts a comprehensive assessment of joint flexibility, bone alignment, ambulatory status, muscle strength, and similar factors. Then, the physical therapist can guide the patient through a physical activity routine designed to improve any impairment, which in turn helps preserve the health of the affected joints .
The physical therapists at Manhattan Total Health work closely with our medical doctors to develop comprehensive treatment programs for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and many other medical conditions. If you would like to work with a physical therapist near New York, NY, to manage your condition and improve your quality of life, give us a call at (888) 614-9257. Our convenient locations also provide treatment for patients with frozen shoulder, hamstring injuries, adhesive capsulitis, and many others.