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Rehabilitative treatment for hands and feet

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Rehabilitation or physical rehabilitation therapy is aimed at rehabilitating patients as much as possible and providing them with the maximum physical, mental, social and occupational independence. Voluntary movement is an essential requirement for an active life. Therefore, a loss of mobility in the hands or feet leads to functional impairment and an inability to carry out daily tasks.

A large part of the conditions that affect the hands and feet, for example, rheumatic diseases such as arthritis or arthrosis; tendinitis or sprains, involve an alteration of the musculoskeletal system (pain, inflammation and joint stiffness). Some of the conventional physical therapy procedures are heat or thermotherapy and physiotherapeutic massage.

What is thermotherapy?

Thermotherapy is the application of different degrees of heat or cold on the body for therapeutic purposes.

Heat therapy consists of applying superficial heat (based on compresses or hot water baths, infra-red lamps or heat patches) or deep heat (microwave, ultrasound, etc.) on the skin.

The thermotherapy action mechanism produces muscle relaxation and local vasodilation; this helps to wash away the alginogenic substances that cause pain. The increased blood flow produces a reduction in muscle stiffness, which in turn triggers a muscle relaxing effect leading to relief from the discomfort. Furthermore, applying heat helps in recovering the collagen elasticity of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. However, cold therapy or cryotherapy (the application of cold for therapeutic purposes) is very useful in treating minor traumatic accidents and sports injuries during the first 48 hours after they have occurred. The cold reduces the spasm and reduces inflammation and swelling.

Sometimes the alternating combination of cold and heat, in the form of contrast baths, can be very useful for certain injuries that are extremely inflammatory.

Thermotherapy for treating osteoarthritis in the hands

For osteoarthritis in the hands, placing them in a bucket of hot water, paraffins, or balsamic-effect herbal products specifically formulated for joint pain can be effective in mitigating stiffness and numbness.

On the other hand, when an outbreak occurs, it is a good idea to apply something cold, since this reduces inflammation and swelling.

Tips to relieve the discomfort of osteoarthritis in the hands

In addition to hand baths with hot water and balsamic plant-based products, the following tips may be helpful in avoiding or reducing discomfort:

Tips to relieve the discomfort of osteoarthritis in the feet

When osteoarthritis affects the feet, it is also important to follow some tips to reduce discomfort:

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