& Hand Therapy > Conditions
> Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refers to a painful auto-immune degenerative arthritic medical condition that is a chronic inflammatory disease. It affects approximately 1% of the United States population.
results in pain and inflammation in joints on both sides of the body,
and can render patients with disability due to its effect on the immune system and to the joints and body parts.
Our senior hand therapists and senior physiotherapists can help manage the symptoms of RA, enhancing an
individual's quality of life.
Other Arthritis Resources:
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
RA is classified as an autoimmune disease—a condition where the patient's own body’s
immune system attacks its own tissues. Although the exact cause of RA is
not known, multiple theories have been proposed to identify who is most
likely to develop it.
The cause may be related to a combination of
genetics and environmental or hormonal factors.
Studies are finding that women are more likely to
develop the disease; women are diagnosed with RA 3 times more than men.
Although RA may begin at any age, most research suggests it often
tends to begins in midlife.
How Does rheumatoid arthritis Feel like?
RA symptoms can flare up and then dissipate or quieten down (go into remission).
Research shows that early diagnosis and treatment is important for
easing symptoms and flare-ups.
People with RA may experience:
- Stiff joints that feel worse in the morning
- Painful and swollen joints on both sides of the body
- Bouts of fatigue and general discomfort
- Loss of joint function
- Redness, warmth, and tenderness in the joint areas
How Is rheumatoid arthritis Diagnosed?
RA is generally diagnosed by a rheumatologist.
Diagnosis is based upon
factors, such as
- inflammation of the tissues that line the joints
number of joints involved as well as
- blood-test results (checking for rheumatoid factors)
Our senior physiotherapist s
may be the first practitioner to recognize the onset of RA; if that's the case, then we will refer an individual with suspected symptoms to an
appropriate clinician for further tests.
how our senior physiotherapists and senior hand therapists can help
Our senior physiotherapists and senior hand therapists play a vital role in improving and maintaining
function that may be limited by RA. We will work
with you to develop a treatment plan to help address your specific needs
Because the signs and symptoms of RA can vary, the approach to care
will also vary. We may provide the following
recommendations and care:
Studies have shown that
group-based exercise and educational programs for people with RA have
beneficial effects on individual strength and function.
Studies also show that
achievement of personal physical activity goals helps reduce pain and
increase the general quality of life in people diagnosed with RA.
Your physical therapist may use modalities, such as
to help manage your RA symptoms.
Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?
Unfortunately, the actual mechanisms that cause rheumatoid arthritis are not completely
understood yet at this current point in time.
There currently is no sure way to predict or prevent the
onset of RA. However, that being said, the early detection of the signs and symptoms will
help you and your medical providers begin early management of RA, which
may enhance your long-term well-being.
Upon diagnosis, we will work with you to develop strategies to better understand and manage your symptoms.
As with many conditions, education is key.
underlying mechanisms of RA, so you can recognize early signs and
symptoms (eg, morning stiffness, painful and swollen joints), may help
you better manage the condition.
Above all, it is important to keep moving. Maintaining or increasing
your activity levels will help improve your function and maintain a
better quality of life.
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on
- core stability
- flexibility and
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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