TIPS TO RE­DUCE THE PAIN OF ARTHRI­TIS

Warwick Daily News - - Weekend -

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.”

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