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Rheumatoid and Inflammatory Arthritis
Assessment and Evaluation of:
• Physical function, including musculoskeletal system, joint function and limitations
• Cognitive and psychosocial factors affecting daily activities
• Performance of basic activities of daily living
• Home, school, work and community environments to identify facilitators and barriers to daily
• function, roles and responsibilities.
• Needs for adapted equipment, splints, and ergonomic modifications.
Treatment begins by developing an individualised plan to achieve prioritised goals. Patients and families are educated on how to adapt their environment, modify tasks, and use equipment to promote independent function and help gain or maintain full participation in self-care, daily home tasks, work, school and leisure or play. Therapy may include principles of energy conservation, joint protection, and stress management to minimise fatigue, reduce pain and improve safe performance in daily activities. Splints and equipment may be provided to improve or maintain function, reduce joint inflammation, prevent contractures.
Treatment will be an individualised goal-orientated programme with full inclusion of the client in all decisions regarding treatment modalities.
Treatments could include:
• Relaxation and breathing techniques
• Scar massage and desensitisation
• Information regarding TENS (Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation) Machines
• Information regarding acupuncture
• Gentle exercise advice and programmes
• Pacing, energy conservation and managing everyday activity
• Distraction – returning to or taking up new hobbies
Within this area the Occupational Therapist will work to assess and evaluate the existing limitations and aim to assist either treating or manging these limitations better.