KerrvillePT: Relieving Arthritic Pains In Upper Extremities

Health & Wellness

May, 2020



You use your hands, elbows, and shoulders hundreds of times throughout the day for both basic and complex tasks. This can make it extremely difficult when living with arthritis, which limits your ability to move freely. If you are living with arthritis, you’re not alone. In fact, there are over 100 different types of arthritis that people are diagnosed with. Arthritis pain is directly correlated to the limitation of mobility in your joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The more freedom of movement in your joints, strength in your muscles, and improved circulation, the less you will be affected by arthritic inflammation and pain. Arthritis in the upper extremities can be successfully relieved with the help of physical and occupational therapy. Contact Kerrville Physical Therapy Center today to find out more. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Hand Therapy – Defined: People have found enormous success in upper extremity arthritis relief through physical therapy and occupational therapy treatments.

Before you can understand why physical therapy and occupational therapy are both so important for arthritic pain relief, youmust first understand the differences between physical therapy and occupational therapy. Physical therapy refers to a variety of natural and conservative treatments aimed at relieving pain and promoting healing. Occupational therapy, while it is a similar form of conservative treatment, focuses more on rehabilitation and the “relearning” of daily activities. The purpose of occupational therapy is to make daily life easier by participating in treatments and exercises. Hand therapy is also a form of occupational therapy. While the title only specifies hands, this form of therapy focuses on the upper extremity as a whole, which also includes the wrist, forearm, elbow, arm, and shoulder. Hand therapists will treat injuries and ailments that affect the upper extremity and work toward returning the affected area to its highest level of function.

Physical Therapy For ARTHRITIS RELIEF

A physical therapist typically uses manual techniques tomanipulate the affected arthritic area, in order to release tension, swelling, and pain. Through the use of massage treatments, patients can find significant improvement - sometimes after just one session! In some cases, additional techniques, such as ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation may also be used as part of your treatment plan, in order to manage your pain and keep symptoms at bay. Perhaps one of the biggest roles of a physical therapist, however, is prescribing targeted stretches and exercises. These will be dependent upon the type and severity of your arthritis, and will focus on improving the range of motion, strength, and overall function of your affected upper extremities, so you can safely and comfortably perform your daily activities once again. A large part of physical therapy is helping patients regain their independence in day-to-day tasks and improving their quality of life. On Your Own: Your therapist will provide you with the necessary stretches and exercises needed to keep up with the progress you made during your sessions. It is important to make sure you complete these stretches and exercises on your own, so your arthritis doesn’t worsen. For upper extremity arthritis, there is a quick exercise you can do every day to instantly

relieve your pain. This technique assists the natural flow of lymphatic fluid out of your hands and arms: 1. Bring your affected arm out to the side slightly. Open and close your hand, feeling for any stiffness or discomfort in the finger or wrist joints. 2. With your other hand, gently place your open palm on your rib cage, high up into the underarm area. 3. Gently press into the skin and move your hand in clockwise circles, moving the skin on the rib cage underneath. You should feel no discomfort while you do this. If you do, then you are pressing too hard. 4. Perform this motion for 2-3 minutes. 5. Test your hand again by opening and closing it. It should feel lighter and with less discomfort. 6. Repeat this procedure multiple times a day for best results. Contact Kerrville Physical Therapy Center! At Kerrville Physical Therapy Center, we are equipped in providing specialized treatments and therapies for any pain or discomfort your arthritis may be causing you. To learn more about howour services can benefit you, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our team will work closely with you to determine which course of treatment will be best for your specific needs. Get back to living your life comfortably by calling us today!

Patient Success Spotlight

Everyone worked hard and showed kindness!

“Thank you so much for the excellent physical therapy given to me for my shoulder and hand. Everyone worked hard and showed kindness and compassion to make sure my goals were met.”


To THANK YOU for choosing our physical therapy practice, we are offering a FREE Physical Therapy Analysis! Limited to the first 25 patients to call. SCHEDULE YOUR FREE ANALYSIS BY CALLING 830-896-7377 TODAY! EXPIRES 05-28-20


• Cervical & Pelvic Traction • Hivamat

• Kinesio Taping • Epley Maneuver • Ultrasound • Electric Stimulation

• Physical Therapy • Massage Therapy

The best way to keep your body healthy during this time is to stay moving and reduce inflammation. Being sedentary and making poor diet choices has the potential to hurt your immune system and make you a target for sickness and disease. 9 ways to strengthen your body against viruses like COVID-19: 1. Wash your hands. 2. Decide to get up and get moving. 3. Eat nutrition rich food. 4. Drink plenty of water. 5. Don’t smoke. 6. Get a good amount of rest. 7. Stretch. 8. Take frequent breaks for breathing exercises. Inhale and exhale deeply. 9. Continue your home exercise program 2-3 times per week. In order to be healthy, there needs to be a large emphasis on movement. When your body is flexible, strong, well-balanced, and fueled by a nutritious diet, it is able to fight infection and reduce the impact of viruses. We are dedicated to helping you live the best life you can. During this time, if you cannot make it to your physical therapy appointments, continue your exercises at home. We care for you and remember you are part of our physical therapy family. 9 WAYS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BODY AGAINST VIRUSES LIKE COVID-19

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Immunity Boost Green Goddess Soup INGREDIENTS • 3 cups baby spinach/super greens blend

• 1 clove whole peeled garlic • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric • 1/4 tsp wasabi powder (optional) • 1 cup chicken/vegetable broth • 1/2 cup coconut milk • Salt & pepper to taste • Squeeze of lemon/lime juice

For garnish: • broccoli florets, lightly steamed • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, thinned with milk • Chia seeds

DIRECTIONS Mix all ingredients (except those for the garnish) together using a high–speed blender. Heat over stovetop until steaming hot. To serve, pour into a bowl and garnish with broccoli florets, a swirl of yogurt, and chia seeds.

Exercise Essentials Try these exercises to keep you moving...

SLEEPER STRETCH Start by lying on your side with the affected arm on the bottom. Your affected arm should be bent at the elbow and forearm pointed upwards towards the ceiling as shown. Next, use your unaffected arm to gently draw your affected forearm towards the table or bed. Hold for 30 seconds. Stretchs Arm & Wrist

Exercises copyright of

WAND SHOULDER FLEXION Lying on your back and holding a wand, palm face down on both sides, slowly raise the wand towards overhead. Repeat 5 times. Strengthens Shoulders

The above exercises are designed to be performed under the instruction of a licensed physical therapist.


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