TIPS TO REDUCE THE PAIN OF ARTHRITIS
Aching, burning, throbbing ... arthritis affects more 3.85 million Australians, with this number set to increase to seven million by 2050. So how can those affected deal with arthritic pain?
To reduce the impact of arthritis, Yves Silveria, a musculoskeletal physiotherapist professional, shares these tips:
1. HEAT AND ICE
“The issue with arthritis is the inflammation which causes the pain. When applying ice to the affected area, this inflammation as well as swelling and pain associated with it is reduced. It also helps modulate the pain receptors. This should be done no longer than a 20-minute period and repeated throughout the day.
“When applying heat, the muscles relax and encourage the damaged tissue to heal. When applying heat, it should be for 20–30 minutes long. Alternating between heat and ice therapies can reduce pain and loosen muscles simultaneously.”
2. PORTABLE PHYSIOTHERAPIST
“For some people, electrical stimulation devices have become an effective way to manage arthritis pain.
“Australian health tech companies ... are harnessing the body’s bioelectrical system to moderate and manage pain levels, accelerate recovery and increase performance. This renewed technology can really help in the management of pain.
“The device contains frequency specific formulations and can act as a portable physiotherapist. (It) works by delivering bio-electrical nerve stimulation pulses through the skin to the nerve endings in the affected area, blocking the pain signals from travelling to the brain. This can be particularly handy when dealing with pain in your physiotherapist’s out-of-office hours.”
3. USE RIGID TAPE
“Taping is very important with arthritis and can be the difference between severe pain and pain-free movement. We use taping to offload the joint so if there is a joint that is inflamed or irritated, taping can remove the pressure from that area. This can improve strength and speed of that joint’s function and reduce pain. The best thing to do is have a physiotherapist tape the affected area and after that you can do it yourself from home after buying the tape.”