Millions of people suffer silently from a very traumatic form of movement disability. It comes on for up to 10 days after a bout with a virus and can leave a person feeling immobilized with pain. It is called post-viral arthritis and it can be debilitating.
This form of arthritis can affect anyone. You do not need a family history of arthritis to be affected. And the symptoms are likely brand new to these people.
Arthritis can affect any joint, large or small. It can happen in the lower or upper body. Often times, it is accompanied by a localized rash or red spot over the joint. The red spot may swell a bit and it will feel hot to the touch. But that is just what it looks like on the outside. What’s happening on the inside can only be felt.
Inside the joint there is inflammation, making it difficult for the joint to go through a full range of motion. You will likely feel a weakness and an inability to move that joint in one or more directions. It will also likely be painful to move the joint.
Some arthritis sufferers say that the pain in the joint is so painful that they cannot even bare the weight of a sheet falling upon the joint. This type of pain can be incredibly limiting and can often times be confused for symptoms of some other disease, especially if you have no family history of arthritis.
But here’s where the advice gets a little bit tricky — you shouldn’t immobilize the joint. Of course you can treat it with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation), but it will heal more slowly than if you actually move the joint. So, many doctors recommend physiotherapy for post-viral arthritis.
A physiotherapist will know everything about the afflicted joint, how it moves, what ligaments and tendons to worry about. With direction, you will learn how to move the joint effectively without much pain. Eventually, the exercises and drills the physiotherapist puts you through will open up the joint.
Blood and oxygen heal ailments. If you ice and immobilize your joint, the blood vessels constrict to make it harder for blood flow to reach the joint. Instead, with the help of a physiotherapist, you should move around and raise the heart rate in order to increase blood flow to the joint.
All of this movement can be extremely painful without the aid of a physiotherapist. You could also wind up doing more damage to the joint if movement is too extreme, so always perform drills and exercises according to a physiotherapist’s instructions. And do not fret about the arthritic pain — it’s not permanent, but a physiotherapist can get rid of it quickly.