Why it’s important to treat your arthritis at home
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is now recommending that people with moderate to severe arthritis who are not at home should be treated with physiotherapy.
“It is important that people have access to an alternative treatment,” Nice director of health, Dr Jennifer Coad said.
“If there is a physical barrier, such as an obstruction in the legs, that prevents people from getting the best treatment, we think it would be best to have them treated in the community.”
Ms Coad is one of several experts in the field who have advocated for this kind of care to be available to patients.
In fact, her team conducted a large study that looked at the benefits of physiotherapy for people with chronic low back pain.
The research found that when people with low back problems received physiotherapy on a regular basis, they experienced better quality of life and were less likely to have back pain in the future.
It also found that the physiotherapy improved pain in both low back and high back pain patients.
While physiotherapy has been widely used in the US, there are other countries where it is often not available.
“In Australia, there’s a very large number of people who are experiencing chronic low backs that have to be treated by physiotherapy because of limitations in access,” Dr Coad told News.
“People with chronic conditions that are not being managed by their GP, who are able to see their GP in a local GP practice, are not able to get physiotherapy.”
The Nice study found that people who had low back issues were more likely to be prescribed physiotherapy in Australia compared to those who were healthy and did not have chronic back pain issues.
“There are a lot of people that are in pain for a very long time that have been treated for that condition, but they’re not getting physiotherapy at home, so physiotherapy is a viable option,” Dr Rolfo Ponce said.
The idea of physiotherapists prescribing the same type of treatment to people with different types of pain, has been around for decades.
“For decades physiotherapy was just seen as just a medical treatment and it was only in the last decade or so that it has become an option that’s been shown to be beneficial,” Dr Ponce added.
In Australia, physiotherapy can be a valuable alternative to surgery for people who do not have a specific problem, or for people in pain who are seeking treatment but cannot afford to go to the surgeon.
The cost of physios is lower than surgical treatment, which can range from about $100 to $200.
“Physiotherapy has become such an important part of our lives in Australia that it’s really a matter of when it comes to the cost of it,” Dr Chris Nesbitt said.
While the research does not show that physiotherapy will be a cheaper option for some people, Dr Pone said it is a good choice for people suffering from low back conditions.
“We do have a lot to learn from physiotherapy,” she said.
Read more about physiotherapy: A key difference between physiotherapy and surgery is the use of a computer-based technology called a virtual reality (VR) headset.
The system uses a virtual environment to simulate a range of exercises and exercises that can be performed by the user.
The software is able to simulate the movements of the muscles in the lower back, hips and shoulders, and allows the user to feel exactly how the muscles are moving in real time.
For some people with lower back pain, the VR device can provide relief from the pain and can help them regain mobility and balance.
“They can get back on their feet, they can get some range of motion, they are able the ability to sit up, they’re able to move their hips in certain positions, but their overall feeling of pain has improved,” Dr Nesbs said.
Dr Nespbs said people with pain should not expect the same level of results that a regular physical therapist can provide.
“The VR headset is the thing that we do a lot in physiotherapy where we’re not doing the exercises ourselves, but we’re really getting the muscles of the spine and the back and the hips working,” he said.
However, for those who do have pain, using the virtual reality headset will help alleviate some of the symptoms of pain.
“But it doesn’t make them feel better, it just gives them a sense of relief,” Dr Breen said.
She said it was important to be mindful of the way you use the VR headset.
“When you’re in the VR, it’s just a computer game, so you’re not actually in your body, you’re just doing the motion capture,” she added.
“That’s not the way physiotherapy works.”
While there are a range at which the system can be used, Dr Nescbs said physiotherapy needs to be done in a safe, professional environment.
“Some people may not want to