Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition. For some people who suffer from early onset rheumatoid arthritis having an integrated care plan for the arthritis can help to not only manage the pain but can limit the progression of the disease. Here are some of the important steps to managing
Regular meetings with a general practitioner
General practitioners (GPs) can help patients by prescribing pain medication as well as steroid treatments to help reduce joint swelling and inflammation (both oral medication and direct injections depending on the severity of any outbreak). These can help to limit the long term damage to joints. If the disease is diagnosed early it's also possible to start a disease-modifying anti rheumatic drug, which can limit the progression of the disease. It's important to have regular appointments with a GP so that they can monitor the effectiveness of any medication and adjust dosages as required.
GPs can also help you by writing a health care plan that allows you to access additional allied health services such as physiotherapy for a bulk billed price rather than paying full rate which can make your treatment more affordable.
Physical therapy can be useful for arthritis patients as it can help to strengthen muscles and increase overall flexibility. Often patients will adopt unusual positions for normal activities such as walking due to pain and discomfort in their joints. This can lead to a lack of mobility in joints, even when the arthritis reduces intensity, as certain muscles will be overused (and some underused). Physical therapy can help manage pain through massage and keep normal posture and positioning which can lead to better long term mobility.
There are also several lifestyle factors which can help you to manage your arthritis. This includes managing your weight to a healthy weight range (as a lower body weight puts less pressure on the joints) and doing regular exercise to keep joints mobile and reduce pain and stress. If you find it hard to exercise your doctor or physical therapist can advise some useful exercises that can help such as aqua aerobics.
If you or someone you love lives with rheumatoid arthritis it's important to find a medical centre where you can make regular appointments to see a doctor to manage the symptoms. Finding a bulk billing medical centre can help you to afford the medications and appointments needed to manage the condition.Share
8 April 2016
Hello, my name is Catherine and this is my blog all about health and medical topics. I was inspired to start this blog by my husband who works in a hospital. He isn't a doctor, he works in a lab testing blood samples. However, he is extremely interested in medicine. When his grandma got sick, he quickly established what might be wrong and got her all the help she needed. Sometimes is the evening, we sit and read textbooks and talk about medicine. It sounds insane but we both really like it. I decided to start this blog to show off some of what I have learnt.