I have no personal experience with occupational therapists as a patient, but I have seen their invaluable help for those with physical limitations in the hospital setting. Occupational therapists can help treat patients with OA through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.
They help patients improve the skills needed for daily living and working. This can be through practice of everyday activities and they can help you improve motor skills and awareness of your own body.
They are particularly helpful during acute rehabilitation after surgery when you may require guidance on relearning certain functions.
I mentioned in a previous article that I had a bad experience with physical therapists, but that is definitely not the case for most people. Physical therapists play a very important role for those with OA.
If traveling to see a physical therapist is difficult for you, they often require only one visit where they teach you home exercises to perform on a daily basis. These exercises can help to increase flexibility and strengthen the arthritic joint, in hopes of alleviating the pain of OA.
Other services they offer include ice and heat therapy, the TENS unit, and helping stretch the arthritic joint.
Although massage therapists are a lesser-known kind of therapist, they can be very helpful for the management of OA. When I first developed arthritis in my spine, I saw a massage therapist frequently and it helped tremendously.
Through manipulation and use of a variety of other techniques, massage for osteoarthritis can help loosen up tight muscles and provide pain relief to specific joints.
Pharmacists are instrumental in the management of your osteoarthritis. No matter what physician you go to, you will likely end up at the pharmacy counter for some sort of medication.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with medications once you start taking more than one of them and need to keep track of their long and confusing names.
Having a good relationship with a pharmacist has helped me immensely in my journey with OA; they are the best people to ask when you have concerns regarding the price of a medication, whether there are any notable side effects to be aware of, and any possible drug interactions that could exist with other medications that you are taking.
People don’t approach pharmacists enough for consultation regarding medications, despite their wealth of knowledge!
Everyone is different and a specialist or therapist that helps you may not be as helpful for another person, and vice-versa. However, by knowing what services each healthcare professional can offer you, my hope is that you can accelerate your path towards achieving quicker and longer lasting pain-relief.