Arthritis And Occupational Therapy

Continuing to live a normal life and maintaining your personal independence while coping with arthritis is vital for your self confidence and self esteem. Visiting an occupational therapist will allow you to continue doing all you did before, but with some fundamental modifications. Take advantage of the advice that is on offer and shape a lifestyle which is appropriate to you. If you visit a hospital for arthritis treatment, or go to a clinic, use part of your time there to discover how best to cope with any disability you may have and adapt this knowledge to your life at home. This will allow you to maintain your normal, everyday occupations as far as possible.

You can derive much satisfaction and a sense of being in charge of your own life from adapting your home environment. In addition to taking advice from your hospital’s physiotherapist, ask your family doctor for referral to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists will be able to recommend ways of doing things and gadgets that can help. Some ideas are described in this section and a therapist will recommend those that are particularly useful in your case. Your therapist will be able to give you valuable advice on your own particular problems.

He or she will help you with exercise problems and recurrent pain problems. You may be advised to use devices to avoid injury to weak joints. These may include wearing built up shoes or wrist supports. The therapist will also help you with any problems associated with managing your life at home. This may be in the form of reorganizing your furniture, how you store common objects that you use every day, or gadgets to make certain tasks easier. Your problems are likely to start with getting up in the morning.

The clothes you choose can help enormously, with the emphasis being on things that are easy to slip on or off, so as to avoid difficult, fiddly finger movements and having to bend down to the level of your feet. For example, a loose crew neck jumper will be easier to pull over your head than a tight turtle neck jumper. Slip on shoes, zips with large, easy to hold pulls rather than buttons, Velcro fastening and belts that hook rather than buckle all make life easier. You may have to invest in gadgets such as long handled shoes horn and a buttonhook to help do up small buttons.

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