Arthritis, being very painful, is very common but is not well understood. Actually arthritis is not a disease; it refers condition that is painful and degenerative with inflammation in the joints that causes stiffness and pain. There are more than 50 different types of arthritis and related conditions that causes pain in several different ways. It may occur on one or multiple joints. Arthritis may affect people of all age group and gender. More than 10 million adults and 500,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is also common in women and occurs more frequently as people get older. Therefore, there arises the need of electrotherapy for arthritis.
Understanding how arthritis can affect you
Arthritis can either cause pain in one particular part of the body or in multiple joints and muscles simultaneously. A physiotherapist can help to understand what happens to the joints and muscles when you have arthritis. Understanding arthritis will help to manage its effects. Some of the general arthritis symptoms for all almost arthritis types are as follows:
- Extreme pain in the joints
- Stiffness of joints
- Swelling & Redness
- Difficulty in motion of the joint
- Decreased strength of the lower limb muscles
- Lack in appetite or fatigue
However, most of these symptoms are more likely to be experienced during the mornings also called morning stiffness. This may further led to a slight fever. Obesity can also be a cause for arthritis. It is often found in people with excess body weight. Arthritis is a chronic and progressive disease that, if left untreated, may lead to physical functional loss and disability.
Common Arthritis Types
Arthritis causes joint stiffness and muscle weakness and this can affect your daily activities and this may accelerate with age. A medical professional assesses patient’s muscle strength and the range of movement in joints and suggests techniques and treatments so you can keep your joints working and moving. Here’s a little more detail on the three common types of arthritis:
This type of arthritis causes extreme pain, swelling and difficulty during joint movements. It commonly occurs in knees, hips, lower back and neck. Common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain and morning stiffness, limited range of motion, joint enlargement or swelling and cartilage loss.
This is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and the tissues around it. It is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system suddenly attacks the joints. This overreaction causes inflammation, swelling and pain in and around the joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis can also affect other body parts, including the heart, lungs, skin, and eyes.
Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is sometimes also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is basically a chronic, non-infective, inflammatory and autoimmune joint disease commonly in children. JIA (Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis) mainly affects children and adolescents. It is often accompanied by a high fever that lasts at least 2 weeks along with rashes on skin.
Role of Electrotherapy in Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic and progressive disease that may lead to physical functional loss and disability. Currently, there is no curative therapy for arthritis; therefore, patients often seek to various life-long treatment modalities. Thus, doctors often suggest a variety pain-relief options to the patients suffering from arthritis. They suggest pain relief gels to rub on the skin, certain medicines or steroids to take via mouth or injections or acupuncture, but these are simply few of the ways to make the arthritis more bearable. One may still be searching for relief after some time.
Electrotherapy is an alternate to medication for treating arthritis pain. It follows the principle of electrical stimulation to decrease pain sensations.The basic objectives of physiotherapy and rehabilitation in arthritic patients are to prevent disability, to provide pain relief, to increase range of motion and to provide correct and authentic education to the patients.
Science behind: How electrotherapy works on Arthritis
Electrotherapy devices deliver electrical stimulation by using electrodes that sends electric pulses to your nerve endings via pads placed on your skin. It sends an electric current to your nerves to override pain signals. This causes a tingling sensation that you may find soothing.
They also relieve pain by triggering the release of natural painkillers i.e.. Endorphins in the brain. Electrotherapy has been shown to relieve osteoarthritis (OA) pain and reduce the need for pain medications. It also reduces intensity of the pain. Electrotherapy treats and heals arthritis damage by rebuilding and repairing joint cartilage. It is used to strengthen the muscles that support weakened joints.
Electrotherapy also uses techniques such as ultrasound and low-level laser therapy can help to increase the healing process and therefore reduce pain.
WinStim- An alternate to Joint Replacement Surgery
Electrotherapy is the proven alternate to joint replacement surgeries. People with arthritis often choose electrotherapy devices to heal naturally, without any pain and save huge surgery cost.
The combo-therapy – WinStim is US FDA 510(k) cleared device. The electrotherapy and ultrasound therapy are always safe and effective to use. Unlike in surgical treatments, people will not experience any side effects, as these are non-invasive methods for relieving pain.
Additionally, People who experience pain relief from these therapies may reduce their intake of pain medications, which can be addictive or cause adverse side effects. There is no known, permanent or serious side effects from combination therapy.