The Impact Of Occupational Therapy On Elderly People

The Impact Of Occupational Therapy On Elderly People

Impact Of Occupational Therapy

Are you experiencing pain or stiffness when you use your hands? Do you find it challenging to go about your daily routine? You could be suffering from arthritis. Fortunately, our occupational therapists at Wise Physical Therapy in Anchorage are highly skilled at helping people find relief and get back to doing what they love!

Arthritis doesn’t typically start suddenly like the pain resulting from an injury. Arthritis usually develops over time or even as a result of genetic disposition. Unfortunately, the worse it gets, the more difficult the pain of arthritis is to cope with.

While arthritis can be debilitating, there’s a lot that you can do to alleviate the pain and improve your function. With guidance from your Anchorage occupational therapists, you can find solutions to your pain and improve your joint movement, muscle strength, and coordination to get back to living the life you enjoy!

Call Wise Physical Therapy today to request an appointment and find out if occupational therapy is right for you!

Understanding more about arthritis

Arthritis is typically used to describe degeneration and inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is usually caused by the joint’s breakdown of cartilage. This deterioration of the joint leads to pain, inflammation, and loss of joint range of motion.

Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition affecting joints, daily activity, and causes of disability in the US adult population. While it can influence anyone of any age, it most frequently develops among those over 50. Almost 30 million adults in the United States struggle with the situation.

Arthritis occurs when there is a cartilage breakdown that covers the bones’ ends, known as articular cartilage. This cartilage allows the elbows, hands, and fingers joints to move freely. As the joint breaks down, the bones are no longer protected and begin to rub against one another, causing extreme pain and inflammation.

The worse the joints get, the more likely the tissues around the joint (i.e., the ligaments and tendons) will also be affected. This progressive loss of function in and around the joint will often stiffen the joint and cause the muscles surrounding the joint to weaken, making it altogether more difficult and painful to move.

Fortunately, at Wise Physical Therapy, our occupational therapists can help you improve your mobility and function and find relief so you can safely use your hands without limits.

Occupational therapy solutions for arthritis at Wise Physical Therapy

Although there is no cure for arthritis, the ideal management is to control pain, improve function and reduce disability. Our occupational therapists can help you find relief by helping to rebuild strength in the muscles supporting the joints and through targeted mobility and flexibility exercises.

In addition, your therapists can help improve your quality of life by reducing pain and improving and/or maintaining function through customized braces or splints to protect your joints while allowing you to perform any prescribed movement or activity safely.

The emphasis of therapy is a conservative approach through:

  • Patient Education
  • Joint protection and energy conservation
  • Modifying activities and environments
  • Use of assistive technologies and modifications to your routine/tasks

Working with our occupational therapists is the best way to ensure that you practice the best techniques for overcoming your arthritic discomfort and loss of function. Your Wise Physical Therapy therapist will assess your particular condition to identify the contributing factors and address all of them.

Your therapist will create individualized exercise programs to reduce pain, prevent the condition from worsening, and improve daily function. A typical program will consist of the following:

Increase joint range of motion and tissue mobility: Occupational therapy can improve your ability to bend and straighten a joint. Even incremental improvements in a joint’s range of motion can significantly affect joint function. In addition, splints, braces, and modifications or adaptations to your typical routine can help protect your joints from further pain.

Strengthen the muscles to support your joints: You can decrease the stress impacting a joint by strengthening its surrounding muscles. Our skilled occupational therapists can identify areas of weakness and teach you how to address them to help you improve strength and stability in your joints.

Retraining skills: In many cases, the best solutions involve modifying an individual’s typical routine. Rather than continuing to perform painful activities the way you have always done them, our team can help you use adaptive equipment and tools to make your tasks easier and less painful. These adaptations will be unique to the individual and their specific needs.

In many cases, our occupational therapists can help by choosing specific exercises and designing appropriate strengthening exercises that improve their function without aggravating their pain. The good news is that your therapist can help you reclaim a healthy lifestyle!

Contact our clinic today to request an appointment!

Occupational therapy is the ideal tool for providing an opportunity to understand what may be causing your pain and help you mobilize your joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis.

Contact Wise Physical Therapy in Anchorage today to request an appointment and get the support you deserve that helps you restore your function!


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