RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: NEW, EVIDENCE-BASED EXERCISE PROGRAMME TO HELP YOU MOVE!
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a challenging condition to live with, which can cause inflammation and pain of multiple joints including those of the hands. People with this condition initially notice stiffness in both their hands which can last up to an hour in the mornings, and their joints may appear to be swollen. Early diagnosis is key, as well as hand therapy to promote hand function and improve pain.
A new exercise programme has turned heads in hand therapy, which supports movement and strengthening exercises for this condition. SARAH, or Strengthening And stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand, is a programme consisting of 10 specific exercises. The exercises are simple, convenient, and can be performed even just once a day and still provide therapeutic benefits.
In regards to evidence, this exercise programme was found to improve hand muscle strength and dexterity compared to individuals who received typical hand therapy without SARAH. The programme also has increased rates of patient satisfaction, and 81% of those who perform the programme feel it improves their hand function compared to 63% of those who receive normal care.
At Melbourne Hand Rehab, our therapists have recently engaged in professional development regarding rheumatoid arthritis management and the SARAH programme, and can offer a variety of splinting options, gloves, exercises, and other therapeutic modalities to address rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, we can also provide advice on how you can manage your condition, and how you can use your hands in ways which protect joint health and decrease your pain. This can also include advice on aids and equipment to help you complete everyday activities.
We have an online platform for both the exercise programme (with videos and instructions), as well as offering online video consultations, so if you want an appointment via video consultation we are more than happy to help you with this.
If you, or someone you know has rheumatoid arthritis, then we are happy to help provide advice and support to achieve your goals and manage your symptoms.
Do you have questions about rheumatoid arthritis? Phone reception on 03 7035 7849
or use our online booking portal
to make an appointment.
By Holly Johnson