Arthritis is, very simply, an inflammation of the joints, which can cause pain and problems with mobility. As people get older, a common area where arthritis strikes is in the hands. This is normally because of excessive used of the hands. Of course, it is imperative to consult with your doctor in order to have access to the most appropriate treatment options. But with consent from your doctor, it can also be a great idea to make an appointment with a specialist physiotherapist who has a deep understanding of how physio can help arthritis sufferers.
Here are some of the ways that a physiotherapist could ease the pain and promote the mobility in your hands.
Wax therapy. A physiotherapist will often use wax therapy for hand arthritis, which involves soaking the hands in a bath of molten paraffin wax. This helps to warm the connective tissue in your hands so that moving them is less of a struggle. Wax therapy is completely safe, but the therapy should take place in a professional healthcare clinic in order to ensure that the heat of the wax is regulated.
Electrotherapy. This is another therapeutic practice that is very popular with some physiotherapists who treat arthritis in the hands. During this therapy, an electrical device will be attached to your hands and electrical signals will be sent through that device. These electric signals can promote blood circulation, heal deep tissue, and improve mobility.
Hand exercises. Although moving your hands might give you pain, a physiotherapist will be aware of specific exercises that you can perform to actually improve the functionality of your hands. Before trying any exercises, it is best to get professional direction from a trained physiotherapist. They will be able to take you through simple exercises in a clinic environment, and with some practice, you will be able to perform them yourself at home. Some simple exercises popular with physiotherapists include crumpling a piece of paper in the palm of one hand, extending the thumb across the palm of the hand, and tensing the hand into a fist. It can also be useful to have wax therapy before doing exercises so that pain is minimised during the practice.
Massage therapy. Massages are not just for spa days, nor are they only for the back – they can also be really useful for the hands. By massaging the soft tissue, the mobility of your hands can be freed up so you have an improved range of motion. Your physiotherapist will also be able to teach you techniques for self massage.
For more information, contact a local physiotherapy center like Physiotherapy Sports & Rehab Clinic.