Newly formed Otaki Arthritis Support Group meet on the 1st Thursday of the month at The Hub Church in Otaki from 4 pm to 5 pm. If you live in the Kapiti/Levin area you are welcome to join this informal, dynamic, friendly and inclusive group.
This month organiser Robyn Keeling arranged for a local physiotherapist from P2 Physio and Podiatry to come and talk to the group about managing their arthritis.
Can Physiotherapy Help?
Various forms of physiotherapy can be a great help in relieving the pain bought on by arthritis. If you suffer from arthritis, you will usually be prescribed medication by most doctors.
A physiotherapist will be able to give you a better understanding of how arthritis will affect your joints and muscles. They will also be able to provide you with some advice on how to manage your pain with some physiotherapy.
Various physiotherapy treatments can help relieve pain in arthritis sufferers, below we have listed some of the most common physiotherapy treatments and why they help with your arthritis.
Ice Packs and Heat Packs
Ice packs can be used to soothe swollen joints and reduce swelling and inflammation. Similarly, heat packs can also help soothe the pain by stimulating blood circulation, if you don’t have access to ice or heat packs, then you can always opt to create your own.
Soaking a wet flannel cloth with warm water or cold water will work in a similar way to using the heat or ice packs; however you should be careful to make sure you get the temperature right, or you risk injuring yourself.
Massage therapy is a useful physiotherapy treatment that many arthritis sufferers find helpful and soothing. Massages can usually be carried out on your own, but you may also be able to go to a professional massage therapist.
Acupuncture is another useful treatment that works by stimulating the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals.
A lot of physiotherapists are trained in acupuncture and can carry out the treatments themselves.
Dry needling uses the same needles as acupuncture, but the therapist will be using a western medical approach and diagnosis to put them into specific points to relieve pain and muscle tension.
Exercise strengthens muscles and joints, which help prevent re-injury, it also improves your pain threshold, when you have chronic pain your pain threshold drops, it takes less pain to make you feel more uncomfortable. With cardiovascular strengthening and flexibility exercise, you can improve that pain threshold.
Exercise can give you independence, freedom and adventure – with chronic pain comes a reduced quality of life, doing exercise can dramatically improve your quality of life.
These are just some of the many physiotherapy treatments available, your physiotherapist will likely advise you on which ones they think are best for you. Living with arthritis is not easy but by using these treatments you will feel more in control in managing your arthritis.
A big thank you to Ash from P2 Physio and Podiatry, the group thoroughly enjoyed your talk and the tips you gave to manage their arthritis was invaluable.
If your support group need some advice from a health professional to help with managing arthritis, look up local providers on Google and send out a request for a speaker, most of the time they want to help and would only be too happy to assist.