Home training vs. seeing a Physical Therapist
Research has shown that the most effective way of treating osteoarthritis is customized training. It can provide pain relief and increase mobility in the affected joint. Although physical activity such as walking, cleaning or gardening may feel tough, it is not dangerous. Rather, these are all excellent examples of how to treat joint pain. However, more focused training designed to strengthen the muscles and improve movement is even better. You can do this type of training with a physiotherapist, but it is also perfectly possible to engage in home training.
Visit a physiotherapist
If you suffer from joint pain, you can visit a physiotherapist without either a diagnosis or referral. A physiotherapist can make a diagnosis and then offer or recommend suitable treatment. If the cause of the joint problem is osteoarthritis, the treatment can mainly be in the form of training. The physiotherapist will prepare an individual training program and show you how to perform the exercises. You don’t usually need any equipment for the home-based exercises recommended for joint pain. Provided you carry out the recommended exercises regularly over a long period (at least a few weeks), training is an excellent treatment for osteoarthritis.
Read more about treatment.
Even if you want to continue with individually adapted home-based exercises, it can be beneficial to follow the advice of a physiotherapist to get started. This will allow you to make sure the exercises are suitable in terms of the difficulty and load on your joints. At the same time, the physiotherapist can help make sure you are doing the training properly.
Find home-based exercises for osteoarthritis online
Finding home-based exercises for osteoarthritis on the internet can be a good start. There are many texts, images and videos that describe the exercises clearly. This minimizes the risk of performing the exercises incorrectly. However, this can’t replace a visit to a physiotherapist. Instead, you should see it as additional help or a cautious start.
Nowadays it is also possible to meet a physiotherapist via osteoarthritis classes on the internet. One example of treatment in the form of an app is the Swedish Joint Academy. It combines physical exercises with education. The entire treatment is coordinated and monitored by a physiotherapist. This may be suitable for many people, but particularly those who live far from the nearest health care center or find it difficult to visit a physiotherapist during normal business hours. .
Examples of home-based exercises for osteoarthritis
Depending on which joint is affected by the disease, difference exercises are recommended. The type of exercise that is suitable may also depend on things such as previous experience with training, age and mobility. Traditional exercises such as squats and lunges are excellent options to strengthen both the muscles and joints. If you have osteoarthritis in the back, it is a good idea to strengthen your back and core muscles. The plank, for example, will help you do this. If you have osteoarthritis in the fingers or hands, you can train the strength and reduce pain by sliding a rubber band over your fingers and stretching them out.
Correct loading is important when training at home
Unlike medication, there are no direct side effects from carrying out exercises for osteoarthritis at home. However, it is important to perform the exercises properly to avoid the wrong loading on your muscles. This is why it can be beneficial to consult a physiotherapist or personal trainer to get started.
The pain that accompanies osteoarthritis is not dangerous even if it can be distressing. If you have too much pain to exercise, you can use pain relievers such as Ipren, Voltaren or Diclofenac. If the pain is very severe, it may be sensible to consult a physiotherapist or a doctor.
Physiotherapist or exercises at home for osteoarthritis – which is best?
A physiotherapist can set up a program with home-based exercises for osteoarthritis – so, in fact, the two options are not mutually exclusive. If you prefer to train at home, you can make use of the digital solutions, while if you want to meet a physiotherapist at the clinic, you can. Neither option is better than the other. It depends on which you prefer.