Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder which affects 1-2% of the population. It affects women twice as often as men, shortens life expectancy by about 10 years and causes a great deal of pain and suffering. The disease affects the synovium (lining) of the joint which eventually causes a loss in joint function.
Prior to providing an exercise programme I would assess your range of motion at each joint, muscular strength and functional movement.
Together we can set goals and develop a programme to maximise your strength, flexibility, endurance and mobility. This will lead you to feeling more confident about managing your disease.
Your programme would generally include the following:
- Prescription of daily range of motion and flexibility exercises to maximise joint health and function, particularly during acute flare ups
- Heat application and assisted stretching as the inflammation subsides (this has been shown not to increase joint damage, joint flares or swelling)
- Strengthening exercises to improve muscular strength and activities of daily living
- Static exercises: I will teach you to generate muscle force (work a muscle) without actually moving a joint. This can even be tolerated during periods of joint inflammation and helps to prevent muscle wasting, during remissions, a more active exercise programme
- Provision of a personalised diet to reduce risk of further inflammation and disease progression
Recent research suggests that there is a link between pathogenic bacteria present in your gut and rheumatoid arthritis. Read more....
Performing a comprehensive stool analysis provides valuable insight into the types of gut bacteria that are resident in the gut and a management protocol.
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